New report from MoDOT shows pedestrian fatalities on the rise

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new report from MoDOT shows pedestrian fatalities are rising across the Show Me State.

Many folks choose not to drive on New Year’s Eve given the potential for dangerous consequences, but those walking are also at risk.

MoDOT says to 89 pedestrians have been killed in traffic crashes this year, that’s about 10 percent of all statewide traffic fatalities with 72 percent of them happening at night.

According to MoDOT, lifestyle choices are leading to more people traveling by foot. Other factors include those who don’t have access to a vehicle, some aren’t physically capable of driving, or some simply decide not to get a license.

The report shows that failure to yield is the leading contributor to driver caused fatalities, while walking on roadways is the top pedestrian action leading to death.

To bring down those numbers, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety named pedestrian safety as one of its five focus areas for the next four years.

“We are just looking to enhance our roadways and improve the signage for pedestrians, more pavement markings so that pedestrians cross at appropriate locations and our drivers see those locations,” said Carrie Wolken, MoDOT’s pedestrian program safety coordinator.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety offers the following tips to help eliminate these tragic deaths.

• Always stay inside a disabled vehicle if it is safe to do so, so the vehicle can protect you. The vehicle is much more visible to oncoming traffic than a pedestrian standing in the roadway.
• Never walk distracted by texting, talking or using headphones.
• Make yourself visible to motorists by wearing light-colored clothing, and always make eye contact with drivers when possible.
• Always use designated crosswalks and obey crosswalk signals when available.
• Motorists should slow down and move over for any vehicles stopped on the shoulder, and assume someone may be walking near that vehicle.
• Use extra caution and expect the unexpected.

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