The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS — More car accidents involving serious injuries and deaths have occurred in Missouri over the last two years. Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen, discussed how state laws protect drivers on the road in this week’s Legal Lens with FOX 2’s Vic Faust.

“Missouri has several statutes and just general rules of the road that deal with pedestrians and motorists and cyclists as they interact with each other on the roadways,” said McNairy.

McNairy said traffic incidents are becoming an “increasing problem” in Missouri, and as the weather gets nicer, she predicts there could be an even higher increase in pedestrian and car crashes.

“In 2021, in St. Louis City and St. Louis County and the surrounding area, 42 people were killed on foot by motorists last year, and another 395 were injured,” said McNairy. “That’s substantially higher than any previous year before 2020. In 2020 also, 126 pedestrian deaths occurred, which is the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in Missouri history.”

McNairy also explained that when drivers are on the road, they must exercise the highest degree of care. She said it’s because driving a car requires a special license and training.

“If not done properly, there could be serious repercussions — including injuries and death,” she added. “The laws say that a Missouri driver has to keep a careful lookout, operate a vehicle at a safe speed, swerve and avoid colliding with pedestrians where a driver knew or could have known in time to avoid a crash.”

“When there’s no traffic signals in place or crosswalks in place, the laws still say drivers must exercise the highest degree of care in yielding to pedestrians who are walking in crosswalks. Several laws on the books say when you are driving, yield to pedestrians.”