Despite traffic volume being significantly down for much of the year, 2020 saw the highest number of traffic fatalities in Missouri since 2007, and the highest number of pedestrian fatalities ever recorded for the state.

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) says preliminary reporting for 2020 indicates Missouri traffic fatalities had increased by 12% compared with 2019. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 989 lives were lost in Missouri traffic crashes in 2020 — up from 881 in 2019.

MoDOT pointed out there were notable increases in unbuckled and speed-related fatalities, with both experiencing approximately a 25% increase from the previous year.

In 2020, nearly 67% of drivers and passengers killed in car crashes were unbuckled, and preliminary numbers indicate 389 people were killed in crashes involving excessive speed or speeds too fast for conditions. In addition, there were 126 pedestrians killed in 2020 - the largest number of pedestrian fatalities in Missouri ever recorded.

Missouri's new strategic highway safety plan, Show-Me Zero, Driving Missouri Toward Safer Roads, identifies four key focus areas to help turn the tide: occupant protection (seat belts, car seats and helmets), distracted driving, speed and aggressive driving, and impaired driving. More than that, the plan identifies ways all Missourians can help reduce the number of fatalities on Missouri roadways.

View the plan details, here: SaveMOLives.com.

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