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2015 fatal motor vehicle accidents show significant increase

Over the past decade, deaths on Missouri roads have been declining steadily. However, against all expectations, 2015 records show a significant increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents. The 5-year goal of the Missouri Blueprint to Save More Lives had been to reduce fatal crashes to below 700 by 2016. This initiative is now being revisited because the 2015 number of lives lost on Missouri roads as of Dec. 1 already exceeds that number by as many as 80 deaths.

The death toll on Missouri roads so far this year is more than 780 -- an increase of more than 10 percent over last year. Authorities are working on a new plan that will become effective at the beginning of 2017. Rewriting the strategic plan will involve law enforcement, engineers, educators and emergency workers. One spokesperson said they all realized that a lot more has to be done to address this issue properly.

The group believes that the major component, enforcement, is under control. One of the members of the committee said more focus will be put on creating awareness and educating drivers. The focus will be to encourage vehicle operators to be responsible drivers. While guard cables on highway medians, edge lines and rumble strips may go a long way toward saving lives, irresponsible drivers continue to jeopardize the efforts to reduce fatal crashes.

Sadly, so far this year, fatal motor vehicle accidents have left the loved ones of so many victims with the heartache and trauma that accompanies unanticipated deaths. While lives can never be replaced, surviving family members can pursue financial relief through litigation in Missouri civil courts. Once negligence is established by means of a wrongful death lawsuit, documented financial and emotional losses will be considered by the court in entering a monetary judgment.

Source: abc17news.com, "Missouri crash deaths increase 11 percent", Lindsey Berning, Dec. 2, 2015

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