A significant increase in the number of people killed in alcohol-related accidents is possibly linked to an increase in overall traffic accident fatality numbers in Missouri last year. According to new data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, overall traffic accident fatality numbers nationwide actually spiked by 3.3% in 2012 over 2011.
The same trend was seen in Missouri as well. In this state, there were 826 traffic accident fatalities in 2012, an increase in fatalities from the previous year. A sharp increase in the number of people being killed in alcohol-related car accidents could possibly be to blame for that increase.
In 2011, the number of accident fatalities linked to impaired drivers in Missouri was 258. That number increased to 280 fatalities in 2012. Drunk driving accident fatalities accounted for approximately 30 % of all traffic accident fatalities in 2012.
The statistics indicate that Missouri may need to step up drunk driving prevention programs. The greater use of sobriety checkpoints could help reduce the number of impaired motorists on our roads, and help reduce those fatality numbers. The Missouri law makers should also look at why the overall number of traffic accident fatalities in 2012 is so markedly higher than the previous year. Stronger laws and enforcement could be instrumental in reducing teen driver-related accidents and accidents caused by distracted drivers.
In addition to state efforts, private programs like “Drive By Example”, help keep driving safety high on the public safety agenda. Drive By Example is working with schools, community organizations, and driving safety advocates to improve the present driving culture and reduce roadway fatalities.
Doug Horn is a Missouri car accident lawyer, dedicated to the representation of victims of car accidents across Missouri.