MO traffic fatalities down for third year in row

MO traffic fatalities down for third year in row

Description: Missouri related traffic deaths are down five percent for 2019, representing the third year in a row that traffic fatalities have declined.

Good news. Missouri traffic deaths are down five percent for 2019, making it a decline for the third year in row. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that 876 lives were lost in traffic crashes in 2019, down from 921 in 2018.

The MoDOT tempered its good news with the fact that 876 lives is still too much, with their ultimate goal to be zero traffic fatalities.

Statistics, however, did see an increase in motorcycle fatalities and pedestrian fatalities. In 2019, there were 118 motorcyclists killed, a 10 percent increase from the previous year. As for pedestrians, there were 108 pedestrians killed in 2019, making it the largest number of pedestrian fatalities in Missouri in the last 10 years.

Outside of weather and road conditions, the main factors contributing to deaths are driver recklessness and poor judgment. They include driving too fast, impairment, distraction, and the lack of using seat belts.

Many of these deaths are avoidable and require good decision making as drivers and pedestrians to prevent them.

MoDOT suggests taking the following steps to prevent fatal accidents:

• Always wear a seat belt and use appropriate child safety seats.

• Never drive impaired. Always arrange for a designated driver.

• Never drive distracted. Put your cell phone down.

• Obey the speed limit and other traffic laws.

• If riding a motorcycle or bicycle, always wear a helmet and other protective gear.

Another thought would be, plan to leave 15 minutes earlier than normal. This prevents you from always having to be in a rush. A slogan to be aware of when driving and to teach young children when you get into a car is “Buckle Up; Phone Down.”

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