Missouri traffic fatalities have dropped for the third year in a row, according to preliminary reporting for 2019.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 876 lives were lost in Missouri traffic crashes in 2019, down from 921 in 2018—a 5% reduction. The state says that while the modest gains are encouraging, it still has a long way to go in achieving its ultimate goal—zero traffic fatalities in Missouri.
“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,” Missouri DOT (MoDOT) Director Patrick McKenna said in a statement. “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.”
Although there was an overall reduction in traffic fatalities, there were increases in motorcycle fatalities and pedestrian fatalities. In 2019, there were 118 motorcyclists killed, a 10% increase from the previous year. Likewise, there were 108 pedestrians killed in 2019—the largest number of pedestrian fatalities in Missouri in the past 10 years.
According to MoDOT, the top contributing factors of Missouri traffic fatalities continue to be lack of seat belt use, driving too fast, impairment, and distraction.
MoDOT recommends the following actions for drivers to help prevent fatal crashes: to always wear a seat belt and use appropriate child safety seats; if riding a motorcycle or bicycle, to always wear a helmet and other protective gear. to never drive distracted, especially never holding or using a cell phone while driving; to obey the speed limit and other traffic laws; and to never drive impaired and always arrange for a sober ride if impaired.
SOURCE: Missouri DOT