Guard Cables Credited for Drop in Missouri Highway Accidents — St. Louis Car Crash Lawyer

By February 16, 2009Traffic Safety

Missourians can drive with a little more confidence this year, according to a report by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. The Southeast Missourian reported Feb. 4 that the report says Missouri saw just 941 highway traffic fatalities in 2008, down by about 25% from 1,257 in 2005. A lieutenant with the Missouri State Highway Patrol told the paper that guard cables — thick wire bundles installed along the sides and median of the highway — played a big part in the drop by preventing vehicles from crossing the highway into oncoming traffic. In areas where the cables were installed, 55 people died in the year before installation; that number was just two in the year after installation.
Guard cables are not universally loved, the article noted. One driver interviewed for the article wondered why the cables were so close to the road, where they could cause a driver to bounce right back into traffic. A garage and wrecking service employee wondered if there was enough space to pull into the shoulder of the road safely in an emergency. In fact, the article said, guard cables were originally installed in the center of the median, but had to be moved after flooding weakened their posts. And a project engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation said that yes, cars should bounce back into traffic after hitting the cables — but the people inside were less likely to be killed in a sideswipe or rear-end accident.
That idea is backed up by federal highway safety statistics. Crossovers are almost always head-on accidents, and head-on accidents are likely to be deadly. According to 2007 statistics from the federal Department of Transportation, head-on accidents represented 10.2% of all fatal accidents and more than a fourth of all fatal multi-vehicle accidents. By contrast, sideswipes were just 2.3% of all fatal accidents. Collisions with an object like a pole or a tree, which are almost always head-on for the driver, accounted for 33.2% more. Automakers design their vehicles with “crumple zones” and other technology to minimize damage, but no amount of engineering can help when two heavy objects collide at high speeds.
Crossover accidents are a serious concern in parts of Missouri where highways aren’t divided by a guardrail, barrier or physical space. Some may be caused by factors beyond the drivers’ control — but others are the result of inattention or even intoxicated driving. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a Missouri crossover accident or other auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have rights. That includes the right to hold a careless driver legally responsible for all of the damage he or she causes with a Missouri car crash lawsuit.
Based in St. Louis, the Lowe Law Firm represents people throughout Missouri and southern Illinois who have lost a loved one or been seriously injured through no fault of their own. We offer free consultations, so there’s no risk in speaking to us about your rights and your case. To talk to our experienced Missouri auto accident attorneys about your own case, you can contact us online today or call toll-free at 1-877-678-3400.