The number of fatalities in Missouri due to highway and roadway accidents declined again last year according to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. As of the latest totals, 773 people died on Missouri roads last year, representing roughly a 6% decline. Overall, the decline in traffic fatalities has been 35% since 2005. Following are the totals for those years:
-2010 Year End Total = 821
-2009 Year End Total = 878
-2008 Year End Total = 960
-2007 Year End Total = 992
-2006 Year End Total = 1,096
-2005 Year End Total = 1,257
Other items related to highway safety noted by the Missouri Coalition are that 7 out of 10 deaths are to drivers and passengers that are unbuckled. Only an estimated 79 percent of Missourians wear selt belts or other safety restraints – which is considerably below the national average of 85%. 30 percent of all Missouri roadway deaths involve an impaired driver, with speeding, drinking and inattention leading the list of fatal accident causes.
In preliminary figures, the Illinois State Police reported that 906 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2011, as opposed to 927 the year before.
While those numbers are good news relatively speaking, the first week of January in eastern Missouri was marred by the tragic deaths of three individuals.
Nathan Patterson, of Bonne Terre, was a passenger in a car that veered off the roadway, overcorrected and lost control and overturned in St. Francois County. Also tragically killed in the first week of January was Laura Dunn, 48 of Wildwood. Ms. Dunn was traveling west on Highway 40 east of Clarkson on the afternoon of January 4th, when she was struck in the rear by a vehicle driven by Jeffery Dobner of Foristell, causing her to lose control and veer into the path of a Freightliner and ultimately into another vehicle before the coming to rest off the roadway in a ditch. Finally Jerri Swank of Bonne Terre, Missouri was killed when her vehicle veered into the path of a Volvo Tractor on Route Y in Ste. Genevieve County.
While reductions in statistics are good news, those statistics are meaningless when they include a loved one. Our sincere condolences go out to the affected family and friends. The Padberg Corrigan Law Firm remains committed to continue to work through 2012 to help reduce the number of negligent deaths on Missouri Roadways in the coming year.