Missouri auto-crash fatalities surge 11.4 percent in 2015
The year saw an 11.4 percent rise in road fatalities. For the past two years, Missouri reported fewer crash fatalities. This is the first time that the state’s crash fatalities exceeded 800 since 2012.
The State Highway Patrol said speeding, driver inattention to the road and DUI remain the principal causes of fatal wrecks.
The state reported 853 road deaths in 2015, and approximately 63 percent of passengers and drivers who died in the accidents did not have their seat belts buckled.
“Fifty percent of those not belted were also ejected from the vehicle,” Col. Bret Johnson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said. “Seat-belt use is the single most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries resulting from traffic crashes, so make sure everyone is properly restrained on every trip."
Leaders aim to reduce the number of crash fatalities next year and make Missouri roads safer for travel.
“Combined efforts in engineering, law enforcement, education and emergency medical services aid in the reduction of roadway fatalities,” Ed Hassinger, the Missouri Department of Transportation's chief engineer, said. “With lower gas prices in 2015, we are seeing an increase in the amount of overall travel on Missouri’s roads. Drivers need to take a proactive role by wearing their seat belts and focusing on their driving.”