A Pacific, Missouri man is dead after being struck by a car near Sullivan, Missouri. The collision occurred at approximately 3:15am on the morning of January 7 on the outer road of I-44. A Jeep Cherokee struck the pedestrian, who was pronounced dead at Missouri Baptist Hospital in Sullivan. The driver of the Jeep was not injured, and no charges were filed.
According to data from the United States Census Bureau, Missouri averaged 1.5 deaths per 100,000 miles walked from 1997-2005. The number of pedestrian crashes has decreased over that time frame, but pedestrian deaths have not trended down as quickly. This means that, while there are fewer incidents where cars strike pedestrians, the crashes that do happen are more serious and involve higher rates of speed. The report also found that Saturday is the deadliest day of the week for crashes. It also found that the crash probability is low between 3am-6am, but it had the highest probability for death.
The group Transportation for America recently released another study, examining 52 large metropolitan areas for pedestrian safety. Missouri’s two largest cities, St. Louis and Kansas City, finished 23rd and 26th, respectively. From 2000-2009 in St. Louis, there were 387 pedestrian deaths, with an average of 1.9 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 miles. Kansas City had 234 deaths with 1.2 fatalities per 100,000 miles. The least safe city is the Tampa metropolitan area, with a fatality rate of 3.5 per 100,000 miles. The safest city is Cleveland, with an impressive .7 deaths per 100,000 miles. As cities begin updating their travel grid for the 21st century and beyond, the number of pedestrian deaths will hopefully decrease as safer sidewalks, roads, and intersections become the norm.
The Transportation for America study also suggests steps communities can take in order to make streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit users. The first step is to ensure that federal funding for roadways contains provisions to include sidewalks and areas for cyclists. This can be done by adding bike lanes to existing roads, making sure that there is a network of connected sidewalks to facilitate travel on foot, and trails to give bicyclists a safe way to travel free of motor vehicles. The report also urges the government to force states to spend federal highway money on safety improvements for pedestrians. In 2008, only two states dedicated any money at all to safety improvements. Without federal oversight, this number will likely remain very low.
Zane T. Cagle and the Missouri car accident attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm know how devastating pedestrian collisions can be. When struck by a 2,000 pound vehicle, a person has little to no protection. Catastrophic injuries are common, and it can take many months, if not years, to get one’s life back to normal. If you or a loved one has been struck by a vehicle in Missouri, Illinois, or Kentucky, you will want to the best representation possible. The Missouri car accident attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm have the ability and aggressiveness to make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries. For a free consultation, call 1.800.685.3302 today.
SOURCES: Fox 2 News ; Transportation for America