Pedestrian deaths make up nearly 10 percent of Missouri traffic fatalities - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

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So far this year, 83 pedestrians have been killed as a result of being struck by a vehicle on Missouri highways.

This equates to nearly 10 percent of all statewide traffic fatalities. . . .

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety offers the following tips to help eliminate these tragic deaths.

Always stay inside a disabled vehicle if it is safe to do so, so the vehicle can protect you because the vehicle is much more visible to oncoming traffic than a pedestrian standing in the roadway.

Never walk distracted by texting, talking or using headphones.

Make yourself visible to motorists by wearing light colored clothing, and always make eye contact with drivers when possible.

Always use designated crosswalks and obey crosswalk signals when available.

Motorists should slow down and move over for any vehicles stopped on the shoulder, and assume someone may be walking near that vehicle.

Use extra caution and expect the unexpected.

MoBikeFed comment: For context, here this list shows the number of pedestrian fatalities in Missouri annually for the years 2006 through 2016:

2006 - 76
2007 - 79
2008 - 63
2009 - 68
2010 - 55
2011 - 75
2012 - 84
2013 - 73
2014 - 65
2015 - 104
2016 - 83 (as of late Nov 2016)

Between 2000 and 2005, we say between 80 and 92 Missouri pedestrians killed annually. For several years, between about 2006 and 2011, the pedestrian fatalities was distinctly lower. We may be returning to the earlier, higher rate of pedestrian fatalities.

This is particularly unfortunate, because in the same period we have seen motor vehicle fatalities overall decrease substantially. That means that pedestrian fatalities have grown significantly as a percentage of overall traffic fatalities.

It also means that pedestrians (and bicyclists) are not benefiting from the general trend towards lower traffic injuries and fatalities across America.

And another issue: Though the percentage of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities has been moving steadily up, spending on pedestrian (and bicycle) safety in Missouri has not increased accordingly.

It is time to spend more time, money, and effort designing our transportation system for pedestrian access and safety.

It is also time to embrace of "Vision Zero" philosophy towards traffic deaths across the state.

Data source: https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/stsi.htm#

Vision Zero: http://MoBikeFed.org/VisionZero