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MODOT: Traffic Fatalities Up in 2015

Eight hundred and fifty three people died in Missouri traffic crashes in 2015, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT). That’s an 11.4 percent increase compared with 2014, and the highest number of fatalities on Missouri roadways since 2009, MODOT reported today.

Sixty-three percent of the drivers and passengers killed were not wearing seatbelts. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the leading causes of fatal crashes continue to be speeding, driver inattention and impaired driving.

New trends in 2015 include increases in improper lane use and substance-impaired driving. According to MODOT, Coronel 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."In November the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that during the first six months of 2015 traffic fatalities nationwide were up 8.1 percent compared to the same period in 2014.

Copyright 2016 KBIA

Sara Shahriari, MA ’09, is the assistant news director at KBIA-FM. She previously worked as a freelance journalist in Bolivia for six years, where she contributed print, radio and multimedia stories to outlets including Al Jazeera America, the Guardian, the Christian Science Monitor, Deutsche Welle and Indian Country Today. Sara’s work often focuses on human rights, policies affecting indigenous peoples and their lands, and the environment. She is a two-time recipient of funding from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
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