In Missouri, like in many other parts of the country, pedestrian deaths are on the rise. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, nearly 10 percent of auto-related deaths involved a pedestrian last year.
In 2016, 933 people were killed in traffic accidents in Missouri. Out of that total were 83 pedestrians, six in Greene County alone. The numbers are so alarming that Missouri has begun installing crosswalks in the middle of blocks, as opposed to just the end of streets.
While some of the pedestrian accidents can be attributed to crossing streets mid-block, many pedestrians have been struck at the crosswalks at the end of streets as well. The reason is that many pedestrians assume they are safe to cross the street at the crosswalk and do not have to be on the lookout for oncoming traffic.
However, many pedestrians, even at the crosswalk, cross against the light, or do not press the crosswalk button. Often times, drivers are not used to seeing pedestrians crossing at certain streets, and do not notice them in the crosswalk until it is too late.
Thus, pedestrians, have a duty to be more observant. They also need to try to ensure they have made eye contact with the driver, and/or the driver has demonstrated that they see them, by slowing down or stopping, before entering the crosswalk.
Drivers need to also be cognizant that not all the people they encounter when they are behind the wheel will be fellow drivers. Many of them will be pedestrians. Individuals like them, that have the right to use the road to cross, without fear that the next time they enter the street, they will be struck and killed or seriously injured.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a pedestrian-related auto accident, the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney may be very invaluable to you. His or her counsel could be the difference in you getting a fair settlement or none at all.
Source: OzarksFirst.com, “Increase in pedestrian deaths worry law enforcement,” Brennon Gurley, Jan. 10, 2017