Missouri Has High Number of Interstate Pedestrian Deaths
Posted on March 9th, 2015 by Zane Cagle
Missouri has a problem with pedestrians being killed on the Interstate Highway System. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety completed a study examining pedestrian deaths in the nation from 1993 to 2012 and found that 386 pedestrians were killed on Missouri’s interstate highways during that time period. That number represented 23 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in the state.
The only state that had a higher number of pedestrian fatalities was Wyoming with 25 percent of all pedestrian deaths occurring on interstate highways during that time.
An unintentional pedestrian include those people who exit a disabled vehicle on the interstate or on the shoulder of the interstate or those who pull over for various reasons including to swap out drivers. I have read and blogged about some of these tragic, fatal incidents. It has becomes such a problem that the Missouri Highway Patrol urges drivers to leave the road after a crash. While they were initially driving, by getting out of their vehicles, they became “unintentional” pedestrians.
Unintentional pedestrians are extremely at-risk due to lack of pedestrian facilities and exposure to high-speed traffic. Speed limits on interstates range from 55-85 miles per hour. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle at the low end of this range has an average risk of death of 90 percent.
Law enforcement and emergency workers often have to get out of their vehicles along the interstates. In some states, the law requires you to either switch lanes if possible when on a four-lane road or slow down when passing an emergency vehicle. Even if the vehicle on the roadside is not an emergency vehicle, it is a good idea to move over anyway.
Other Findings in the AAA study:
- There are twice as many pedestrian fatalities in urban areas than rural areas.
- A third of pedestrians killed are legally drunk
- Just over 77 percent of pedestrian fatalities were on the road before impact and 15 percent on the shoulder
- three-fourths of the pedestrian fatalities occur at night and two-thirds occur on more congested stretches of interstate
- intoxicated pedestrians were involved in more pedestrian fatalities
Without question, safety measures and awareness needs to be increased to reduce this alarming number of fatalities.
A pedestrian accident is any type of accident in which a pedestrian is struck and injured or killed by a vehicle. Many of these types of incidents are caused by driver negligence, inattention or even illegal activity such as speeding or driving drunk. Pedestrian fatalities on interstates usually occur when a person is exiting their vehicle or walking along side the interstate. Failure to reduce speed and failure to keep a proper lookout are both common reasons for drivers to hit pedestrians.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident or if you have lost someone in a pedestrian incident, you should consult an attorney. It is critical to find out if the operator of the vehicle that struck you or your loved one was attentive, sober and obeying the traffic laws when they struck the pedestrian. If you are hurt, call our attorneys toll free 1-800-685-3302 or locally 314-276-1681 seven days a week for a free, confidential personal injury and wrongful death consultations.