The following was co-written by Missourian public health reporter Cameron Barnard. Click on the link to reach the original article.
Missouri traffic fatalities increased 12% in 2020 compared with 2019, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Transportation. A total of 989 lives were lost because of traffic accidents in Missouri in 2020.
Traffic volume was significantly down last year, but traffic fatalities were the highest since 2007. MoDOT said there were notable increases in unbuckled and speed-related deaths, with both increasing approximately 25%.
Sixty-seven percent of people killed in cars were unbuckled, and 389 people were killed in crashes involving excessive speed. Last year, 126 pedestrians were killed on the road, the largest number recorded in Missouri history.
In response, Missouri unveiled a new safety plan called “Show-Me Zero, Driving Missouri Toward Safer Roads.” The plan focuses on four key areas: protection devices such as seat belts, car seats and helmets; distracted driving; speed and aggressive driving; and impaired driving.
So, how can you help? “Ultimately, our success will be dependent upon everyone’s willingness to take personal responsibility for safely using the transportation system and demanding others do the same,” MoDOT State Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Hood said in the news release.