The state of Missouri saw 921 fatalities result from motor vehicle crashes in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That was 11 fewer deaths on state roadways compared to 2017 for a 1.2% decrease.

Deaths related to alcohol use also fell in 2018 by 2.8%. However, crashes involving drunk drivers still accounted for more than one out of every four fatalities in Missouri. Nationally, NHTSA reports 36,560 people died on U.S. roadways last year.

Report shows an alarming rise in pedestrian and cyclist deaths

While traffic fatalities decreased across the country in 2018, NHTSA says a disturbing trend emerged for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists. The statistics show:

  • 6,283 pedestrians were killed, a 3.4% increase over 2017 and the highest number since 1990
  • 857 cyclists were killed, an increase of 6.3%
  • Fatalities of women cyclists soared by 29.2%
  • Deaths of male cyclists rose by 3.2%

Poor infrastructure, distracted drivers blamed

Safety advocates say while new safety technology, such as automatic braking, blind-spot sensors and traffic lane assistance may help drivers of automobiles, safety measures are urgently needed for cyclists and pedestrians. Federal, state and local governments are urged to make improvements to roadways and improve visibility and other safety measures at intersections and crosswalks. Advocates say cities need to build more bike paths.

While NHTSA reported incidents of distracted driving actually fell in 2018, drivers not paying attention to the road or others are still responsible for a large number of accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists. Safety groups say another factor is the growing trend by Americans to buy larger vehicles, such as SUVs and pickup trucks, which cause more damage in crashes.

Crashes cause severe personal and financial consequences

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says nearly 6 million motor vehicle crashes happen each year in the U.S. sending 3.6 million people to emergency rooms, and nearly 300,000 are admitted to a hospital. Many people suffer permanent or long-lasting injuries causing massive medical bills and forcing them to miss work. If you have been hurt, an experienced personal injury attorney here in Missouri will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.