A new pedestrian safety report released by Transportation For America illustrates the risk of pedestrian accidents in Joplin, Webb City and Nevada.
The report looks at the 47,000 pedestrians killed while walking our country's streets from 2000 to 2009. It also examines the 688,000 injuries from these accidents.
Dangerous by Design 2011 is researching how to prevent these accidents.
Our Joplin car accident lawyers recognize the severity of this epidemic. We also understand that the risks for a serious or fatal pedestrian accident have only increased with the latest weather conditions. As communities continue to repair the damage from the recent tornadoes, pedestrians find themselves at a greater risk. With debris, downed power lines and flooded streets, motorists are likely to be less aware of pedestrians as they focus on rough driving conditions.
The release comes equipped with state specific factsheets for all 50 states. Through this visual, you are able to look at your community to see just how common these serious pedestrian accidents are.
During the examined years, 2000 through 2009, more than 800 pedestrians were killed while walking in Missouri. These accidents cost the state nearly $3.50 billion. Our state ranks 17th on the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) out of all 50 states.
The most dangerous areas in Missouri, between 2000 and 2009, for pedestrians are as follows:
-Kansas City, 234 pedestrian deaths.
-Springfield, 49 pedestrian deaths.
-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, 46 pedestrian deaths.
-Columbia, 19 pedestrian deaths.
-Joplin, 19 pedestrian deaths.
-St. Joseph, 16 pedestrian deaths.
-Jefferson City, 10 pedestrian deaths.
When looking at a map that illustrates this data, it is obvious that a majority of these accidents occur along "arterial" roads. These are roads that have been engineered for speedy traffic and take very little precautions for pedestrians.
It is our federal tax dollars that fund these "arterial" roads. Even with little safety precaution for on-foot travelers, Congress is looking to eliminate what funding is left for projects to make these areas safer.
Highways-only lobbyists continue to insist that pedestrian safety is a feature that is a local responsibility. Ironically, nearly 70 percent of the pedestrian deaths that have occurred over the last 10 years have happened on these federal-air roadways. These types of roads are the ones that are eligible to receive federal funding.
This makes it clear that federal programs have made speedy traffic as a priority over pedestrian safety. Shouldn't our tax dollars be used to build streets that are safe for all users and not to only accommodate speedy vehicles?
Fixing up a street to make it safe for pedestrians is pretty cheap. These funds account for less than 1.5 percent of the current federal transportation outlay. This is a fund that is now targeted, by Congress, for elimination.
If you think the government needs to hang on to the fund to keep our streets safe for pedestrians, you are urged to contact Congress and voice your opinion.
If you've been involved pedestrian accident in Joplin, Noel or Pierce City, call 417-627-0066 today for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Attorney meetings by appointment only.
More Blog Entries:
Missouri Train Accidents on the Rise -- Missouri Department of Transportation Promotes Railway Safety Week, Southeast Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 25, 2011
Attorney meetings by appointment only