In 2016 alone, the Missouri Department of Transportation received reports of more than 83 pedestrian deaths resulting from being struck by cars from all across the state. That number accounts for nearly 10 percent of the entire body of fatal car crashes statewide.

In light of the increase in the number of pedestrian accidents, MODot released a number of guidelines they recommend pedestrians follow in an effort to reduce the incidence of being struck by a car. Of the most important recommendations, they highlight that the pedestrian should avoid being distracted.

Texting is an activity that not only engages people mentally, but perhaps more importantly, takes their eyes off the sidewalk in front of them, giving them a much higher chance of inadvertently walking into the roadway and being struck. Likewise, someone wearing headphones, aside from being distracted on cerebral level, will not able to hear sounds around him or her, like the comings and goings of cars, when worn.

Another common mistake pedestrians involved in accidents make is not using designated crosswalks or obeying traffic signals. Last, in situations in which one’s car breaks down, it’s important that one stay in their vehicle until help arrives if at all possible. if you feel it is unsafe to do so, you should make sure to have some type of light colored or reflective clothing in your vehicle to allow you to stand out to avoid being hit as well.

When it comes to motorists, some ways in which they can avoid the potential for being involved in accidentally striking a pedestrian is to proceed slowly when approaching areas with crosswalks or high pedestrian traffic. They also should vehicles that are disabled on the side of the road with extreme caution, always looking out for someone that might be standing around the vehicle.

With an increase in the number of pedestrian deaths in Missouri, following the simple steps listed above will hopefully help to reduce those numbers in the new year. If you have been severely injured as a result of a pedestrian accident or a loved one has lost his or her life, your attorney can discuss your legal options. In doing so, he or she will advise you on how to file a claim for your loss or injuries.

Source: Four States, “Pedestrian deaths on the rise in Missouri,” Jeremiah Cook, Dec. 11, 2016