After more than half a decade of decline, the number of Missourians who have lost their lives to motor vehicle accidents is up over the first two and a half months of 2012. This year is the first since 2005 in which fatalities on Missouri roads between January 1 and March 7 did not drop year-to-year.
Almost a Third More Motorists Lose Lives Early in 2012
Law enforcement officers are increasingly called out to tragic roadside scenes. Missouri car accident attorneys are seeing more grieving families come through their doors, seeking some small measure of closure. And, more Missourians are being left with a gaping hole in their lives where there was once a mother, father, brother, sister or child.
Between January 1 and March 7 of this year, 125 motorists lost their lives on Missouri roads. That is 29 more than in 2011 during the same time frame, a stunning increase of more than 30 percent.
Possible Reasons for the Deadly Trend
So what is causing the state’s highways to become less safe? According to information from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, it may be a combination of risky driving behaviors.
Two-thirds of those who were killed were not wearing seatbelts. In addition, half of this year’s fatal accidents occurred when drivers ran off the road or veered out of their own lane. Although the Highway Patrol did not speculate about a particular reason for the high rate of lane departure accidents, some officers pointed out that lane deviation is a common symptom of inattentiveness to the road.
Tips for Driver Safety
Perhaps the most obvious, and easy, way to stay safe behind the wheel is to always buckle up. You should also keep your eyes, as well as your mind, on what you are doing: driving. Losing focus on the road because of a mobile electronic device, eating, grooming or adjusting a nonessential vehicle feature can have deadly consequences.
If you do go off the road, do not panic and overcorrect, which can cause you to travel into the opposite lane of traffic. Instead, keep a firm grip on the wheel, ease off the gas and do not brake. Turn the wheel slightly, just 1/8 turn to the left, and when you feel the tires hit pavement again, move the wheel 1/4 turn to the right.
What to Do if an Accident Has Affected You
If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident, or if a family member has been killed, you can help ensure any responsible parties are held accountable and you receive the compensation you need and deserve. Contact a Missouri auto accident attorney to learn more about your legal options in the wake of a wreck.