Missouri Highway Deaths Increase Dramatically in 2012

4 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, May 09 2013 May 9, 2013 Thursday, May 09, 2013 6:48:00 PM CDT May 09, 2013 in News
By: Elise Oggioni
loading

COLUMBIA - Recent studies show for the first time in a decade, the number of traffic deaths across the country is on the rise.

MoDOT Highway Safety Director Leanna Depue told KOMU 8 News that in 2012, preliminary data shows that there were 102 motorcycle fatalities in 2012, compared to 81 in 2011.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a shift away from laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets could be to blame for the nationwide rise in fatalities.

Last year was the first year that deaths rose since 2005, and it marked the highest number of people to die on U.S. roads since 2008. The total number of fatalities rose 5.3 percent to 34,080, according to the NHTSA estimate.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is projecting that approximately 5,000 motorcyclists died in 2012: a 9 percent increase from 2011. This would represent 14.7 percent of overall traffic fatalities, the highest percentage ever.

Motorcycle fatalities are up for several reasons: unseasonably warm winter weather early last year drew more riders out; high gas prices have led to an increase in motorcycle sales and more riders; and states continue to overturn laws that required helmet use.

"If you remember back in 2012, in February and March, we had like, 80 degree days. Um, certainly wasn't that way this year. So, um, I think it's more of people haven't been riding as much this year as they were last year based on weather," Mid-America Harley Davidson Asst. Sales Manager Ron Schieferdecker said.

However, the focus on motorcycle fatalities is hard to escape in May, which is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Proponents of mandatory helmet laws point to the fact that motorcycle traffic fatalities went up in 34 states and decreased in 16 states.

Right now only 19 states require them of all riders, down from 26 states that did so in 1997. Several states repealed mandatory helmet laws in recent years, including Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Schieferdecker said he believes it should be up to the person riding the motorcycle to choose if they want to wear helmets.

"I, personally, myself, I would wear a helmet regardless of whether there's a helmet law or not. But that's because it's my choice, it's not because someone is telling me to do that," he said.

Every region of the country saw motorcycle fatality numbers rise last year, including jumps of 32 percent in Oregon, 29 percent in Indiana, 18 percent in Michigan and 8 percent in Pennsylvania.

Those who oppose having helmet laws said fatality levels are influenced by several other factors, including an increase in motorcycle riding, alcohol impairment and road deterioration.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - People from the community put on their bowling shoes to help raise money for a local high school.... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:24:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A popular Asian elephant at the Saint Louis Zoo has died. The zoo... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:23:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
FAYETTE - Black History Month is coming to an end, but there's still a lot to celebrate. Members of the... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:58:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Having a healthy heart was a lesson for people of all ages on Saturday. People attending “Be... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 4:05:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police have taken a 13-year-old male into custody Saturday in connection with a social media post community... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 2:38:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a pedestrian has been hit and killed in a southeastern section of St. Louis.... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:39:04 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Cradle to Career Alliance hosted a symposium Saturday on what strategies they recommend to help increase your... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 12:24:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS — Two men convicted in a 2015 drive-by shooting of a St. Louis police sergeant have been sentenced... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:44:00 AM CST February 24, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD — A 75-year-old man has been found guilty of financially exploiting an older Springfield woman. Howard Roberts of... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:43:00 AM CST February 24, 2018 in News
Chesterfield, MO - Nearly two weeks after a shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed seventeen students and teachers, students... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 10:18:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some veterans living in or near the Truman VA clinic often have to make the drive to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 8:07:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Ameren Missouri proposed an incentive program to install more charging stations for electric cars across Missouri. The program,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 7:28:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
ST. CHARLES - The man accused in the death of trooper James Bava is facing lowered charges as his second... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 5:45:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department spent the morning investigating a possible threat against Columbia Public Schools. The post... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 4:27:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Show-Me State Games isn't officially until June, but the competition is already underway. More than 90... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 4:22:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mary Ratliff grew up in the small community of Ripley, Mississipi. It is a community where she said... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 1:52:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
UPDATE COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools sent out a release Friday afternoon to the families of CPS, clarifying... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 1:46:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri has never removed a governor through impeachment. But after Gov. Eric Greitens' felony indictment yesterday, some... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:55:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
3am 36°
4am 36°
5am 35°
6am 34°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:30p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
2:30a
Paid Program
3:00a
Paid Program
2:00a
Paid Program
2:30a
Paid Program
3:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
9:30p
A.P. Bio
7:00p
It Could Happen to You
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy