Highway fatalities are an unfortunate fact of modern life, and something reported on extensively in this blog. Today, however, Jefferson City Missouri residents woke up to a piece of really good news. According to an article in the Sept. 29 News Tribune, Missouri traffic accident fatalities have dropped more than one-third during the last six years and all the signs indicate that they are continuing to fall.
The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety used a three pronged approach which has resulted in traffic fatality levels falling to a level not seen since 1950. This approach consists of engineering, enforcement (kudos to Missouri Highway Patrol for their efforts as well) and education. On Sept. 27, the Governor's Highway Safety Association recognized MoDOT as a nationwide leader in decreasing traffic fatalities, by awarding them the Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award.
A 35% reduction in traffic deaths since 2005 is a huge achievement! Continuing that trend, traffic fatalities have dropped 12% so far this year. "We have shown what can be accomplished when we all work together toward a common goal," said Highway Safety Director Leanna Depue. "We are grateful for this recognition, but we're even more thankful for the fact that more Missourians are making it home safely to their loved ones."
Read more about MoDOT's work saving lives on Missouri's highways.
What do these percentages mean in real people's lives? By this time last year, 604 people had already died in Missouri highway accidents, compared to 527 this year. The 35% decrease in traffic fatalities means that 1,538 lives have been saved in the past five years. 1,538 families did not have to go through the trauma of losing a loved one.
As part of MoDOT's efforts to save lives, they are promoting the "show me my buzz" app. This new smartphone app allows you to estimate your blood alcohol level (BAC) and even provides the phone number of a local cab service if you need one.
Some of MoDOT's other initiatives include:
• Operation Orange--to support work zone safety.
• The 2011 Battle of the Belt Challenge (click here to join this challenge. All schools participating in the competition will receive a select amount of iTunes cards
• Highway Safety Grants
• Safe Routes to School Grants
Obviously, there is still more work to be done. Over 12,000 people have been killed and somewhere in the vicinity of 800,000 have been injured on Missouri's roads since 1997. To put this into perspective, these figures almost equal the population of Jefferson City, Kansas City and St. Louis--combined!
If you have been injured in a car accident or truck accident in Jefferson City or Columbia and need legal assistance, feel free to contact the car accident law firm of Aaron Sachs at any time. We have helped many Jefferson City accident victims navigate the sometimes complicated accident claims process; it costs you nothing to find out if we can help you too. Call 1-888-777-Auto (2886).