Missouri Traffic Fatalities Up in 2011; Seatbelts Ignored By 2/3rds of Victims

Categories: Community, News
missouri driver.jpg
And they call this guy a dummy?
The Missouri Highway Patrol reported this week that traffic deaths statewide are up this year. Between January 1 and March 7, Missouri roadways saw 29 more traffic fatalities than they did during the same time frame last year. If the accidents continue at their current clip (125 through March 7), 2012 will be the first year since 2005 that fatalities did not drop year-to-year.

But here's what's really startling about the accidents: Two-thirds of those who died were not wearing seat belts.

As Daily RFT has noted a time or two before (1, 2), it's shocking (to us, anyway) how few people in Missouri wear seatbelts.

What else is startling is how many accidents are the result of driver distraction. According to the highway patrol, 50 percent of fatal accidents this year occurred when drivers simply ran off the road or out of their lanes.

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The DOT is looking at requiring technology on cars that would prevent 80% of all crashes.  AAA says crashes cost $300 billion per year.  Yet the Obama 2013 budget allocates only $22 million for research.  See this opinion piece I wrote on the subject for the West County Journal:


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