Beginning this month, the Missouri Department of Transportation is displaying electronic roadside messages that inform motorists about the number of people who have died in accidents in the state, as well as the percentage of people who were not wearing seat belts at the time of their death.
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, the campaign is a reaction to a sudden increase in the number of traffic accident fatalities in Missouri. After a number of years of declining fatalities, Independence, Missouri car accident lawyers have been concerned to see traffic fatality numbers inching upwards again. In Missouri, accident fatality numbers this year are up by about 14%, compared to the same period of time last year.
In 2011, 7 out of every 10 traffic accident fatalities in Missouri were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.
Wearing seat belts is the single most important step that motorists and passengers can take to reduce their risk of being fatally injured in an accident. The campaign by the Missouri Department of Transportation will display data pertaining to victims of car accidents who were not buckled in at the time of the accident Those messages will be displayed every week on 66 rural message boards, as well as message boards in the metro areas.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has no information about why accident fatality numbers have begun climbing again. However, the agency believes that this spike in accident fatalities is almost certainly linked to seatbelt usage. Seatbelt usage rates in Missouri hover at around 79%, compared to the national average usage rates which are a respectable 84%. Among teenagers, the seat belt usage rates are even lower, with only 67% of teenagers choosing to buckle up while driving.