According to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT), there was an 11.4 increase in automobile fatalities on Missouri roads in 2015. As of the writing of this entry, there are currently 591 reported vehicle fatalities in Missouri, which is already 18 more automobile accident and automobile crash fatalities than there were at this point in 2015. As of two weeks into September, 2016, we were already at 26 automobile accident and automobile crash fatalities.
When you consider that there were 15 fatalities for ALL of September, 2015, the numbers show that we are clearly seeing a sharp rise in automobile fatalities on Missouri roadways. These numbers have to stop climbing and we all must do more to prevent needless car accident and car crashes on Missouri roadways. To start this process, though, we must understand the causes of automobile fatalities and raise awareness about safety steps we can all take to make our roadways safer.
What are the causes of the increase in automobile fatalities in Missouri?
According to MODOT, the major causes of the automobile fatalities are speeding, driver inattention, and impaired driving. In our office alone we have seen numerous cases involving individuals who were driving far too fast for road conditions and as a result, caused crashes on local Missouri roadways. We are also seeing more car accidents and car crashes caused by driving inattention due to drivers texting while driving or talking on their cellphones.
As football games and colleges throughout the state get back into full swing, we usually see an increase in the number of people driving impaired on the roadways as well. Over the course of the next several blog posts I want to discuss the major causes of automobile accidents and automobile crashes on Missouri roads and how we all can take steps to make our roadways safer for everyone to use.
What can be done?
We must all make a bigger effort to raise awareness about roadway fatalities and accident/crash prevention. Increasing safety awareness is a major issue for our firm and we believe that spreading awareness about the growing number of fatalities on the Missouri roadways is a key to making people aware of this growing crisis. My hope is that through these posts it will be easy to see that we can all take simple steps ourselves to prevent roadway fatalities from rising.
For example, did you know that merely putting on your seatbelt increases the chances that you will survive a motor vehicle accident or motor vehicle crash on a Missouri roadway? MODOT points out that sixty-three (63%) of drivers and passengers killed in automobile fatalities last year were not wearing their seatbelt. Just merely “clicking” your seatbelt is already a major part of making sure you traveling safely on Missouri roads. It’s that easy!
Did you know?
Missouri law requires all Missouri drivers to follow the rules of the road and exercise the “highest degree of care” when they drive on Missouri highways (any public road). According to 304.012 R.S.MO.:
“Every person operating a motor vehicle on the roads and highways of this state shall drive the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person and shall exercise the highest degree of care.”
If a person does not operate his/her vehicle in a careful and prudent matter, or exceeds the speed limit, then that person has violated the law. Also, every driver must exercise the “highest degree of care” when operating his/her motor vehicle, which means that a driver must exercise a degree of care which a very careful and prudent person would exercise in same or similar circumstances. So, the next time you are getting behind the wheel or are riding with someone, remember that we all have a legal obligation to drive carefully and prudently on our roadways.
Let’s Make Missouri Roads Safer!
As mentioned above, over the course of the next several blog posts I want to discuss the major causes of automobile accident and automobile crash fatalities on Missouri roads. We have a beautiful state and a lot great places to travel to and see in Missouri! I know that all of us want to travel safely and make it home to our loved ones.
My hope is that by raising awareness of the growing crisis of road fatalities in Missouri that more people will start taking safer steps when they are traveling on Missouri roads. I hope that the information in the coming weeks will be informative and helpful to all of our fellow travelers out there on the road.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, would like to aid in my campaign to spread awareness, or have been involved in a Missouri car crash and question your legal options, feel free to get in touch at any time. My name is Mike Campbell, and I’m a Columbia, MO personal injury lawyer who’s on your side.