COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The number of people who died on Missouri roads in 2022 ended up far greater than the number killed in 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2022, the Missouri Coalition For Roadway Safety reported 1,010 people lost their lives on Missouri roads compared to 881 people killed in crashes in 2019.
In Mid-Missouri in 2022, 87 people were killed in crashes compared to 75 people dying on Missouri roads in 2019, according to the Missouri Coalition For Roadway Safety.
The latest deadly crash in Mid-Missouri happened Wednesday when an Eldon man was hit and killed in Miller County.
Another crash was on December 1, when an 83-year-old woman died in a crash on East Broadway at the Hominy Creek Trail Bridge.
According to data there a number of factors to blame for the increase.
The Missouri Coalition of Roadway Safety shows 64% of fatalities from 2017 to 2021 were due to people not wearing seat belts.
Distracted driving also plays a role in contributing to the increase.
Data shows, 382 people have died since 2017 due to distracted driving.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol's New Year's holiday counting period began Friday at 6 p.m. and will wrap up Monday at midnight.
Troopers have reported one person has been killed on Missouri roads since the counting period began.
So far, the Highway Patrol has reported 48 injury crashes across the state.
One person has died and 18 people suffered serious injuries.
Of the 48 crashes reported, four happened in the Highway Patrol's Troop F's jurisdiction, which covers Mid-Missouri.
Corporal Kyle Green with the Highway Patrol says although the official holiday counting period numbers won't be released until Tuesday he says, the numbers are looking lower compared to other years.
"I think the fatalities and things like that will show lower for this year than they were in the past which is good and we obviously want to continue that this year making sure everyone is doing the right thing, wearing their seat belt, not texting and driving and all that stuff." Cpl. Green said.
Conditions Monday night could be poor for driving, with storms expected with damaging winds and hail over large parts of the state.
Those who are on the roads during the severe weather expected Troopers are encouraging drivers to drive with caution.
Cpl. Green says drivers need to be careful near tractor trailers when there are strong winds.
"They will often have a hard time staying in their lane, so if you're traveling on a roadway or insterstate where there are a lot of tractor trailers be careful driving around them and passing them because they can be moved out of their lane just by the wind." Cpl. Green says.
If conditions do get bad enough that you have to stop driving, the Highway Patrol says, you should not pull off on the side of the highway and to pull over onto an exit ramp or a side road as it is a safer option.