CAMDENTON, Mo. — After 17 years, Emily Debert still feels raw when she thinks about her friend.
“It was horrible. I’ll never forget it,” Debert said. “You just don’t expect to hear that, when someone you see all the time had so much life, and had so many dreams and aspirations.”
Debert says her friend left for work early on a rainy day. He skidded, spun, and was hit head-on.
He wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
“We know people are 45 times more likely to survive a traffic accident when they’re wearing their seat belt,” said Capt. Chris Twitchel of the Camden County Sheriff’s Office.
That remains the biggest risk in 2020. The Missouri Department of Transportation also points to speeding, drunk driving, and texting and driving.
In 2019, 876 people died in crashes on Missouri Roads. That is down from 921 in 2018. It’s good news, but MoDOT’s director still thinks it’s unacceptable.
“Another year of reductions in traffic fatalities is encouraging, but it’s difficult to celebrate considering we still had nearly 900 people killed in Missouri traffic crashes,” said MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna in a news release. “The frequency with which we’re losing people simply traveling from one place to another is unacceptable. We owe it to each other to make better choices behind the wheel and create a safer transportation system for everyone.”
“I just wonder what other changes might be made that are positive,” Debert said.
Debert wants more serious penalties for not wearing your seat belt. She’d also like to see stricter texting and driving bans.
Twitchel agreed. He said Camden County has one of the worst rates for deadly crashes in the state.
“A lot of our accident incidents because there’s so many people on the roadways all the time,” Twitchel noted.
Camden County focuses on drunk driving heavily during big holidays at the Lake of the Ozarks, such as Mardi Gras Pub Crawl, the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. Twitchel said his department also works closely with MoDOT to help find ways to make the streets safer.
“I think constant enforcement to ensure people are driving safely is a very important thing that we do here and that we need to continue to do,” Twitchel added.
Despite there being a decrease in overall traffic fatalities, Missouri saw an increase in motorcycle related deaths, and pedestrian fatalities.
108 pedestrians were killed in 2019, a ten year high for the state.
If you or a loved one have suffered accident injuries in a car accident call Northland Injury Law at 816-400-4878 to speak to a Missouri automobile accident lawyer today for help in recovering the compensation you need. An experienced personal injury attorney can ease some of the burden by engaging in fact-finding, gathering the necessary documentation, and crafting concise and thorough demands for settlement of your claim.