COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
More than 200 people have died in crashes on Missouri highways this year, already on track to be deadlier than 2020, a year in which deadly crashes already took a big leap.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol this week reported 233 deaths on Missouri roads and thousands more injured so far in 2021. This is a 9% increase compared to the same point in 2020.
In 2020, preliminary reporting indicated Missouri traffic fatalities increased 12% compared to 2019. That's despite lower traffic volume associated with people staying home during the lockdowns in place during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.
Driving too fast, distracted or impaired driving and driving in bad weather are the main causes of vehicle-related deaths, the patrol says.
The MODOT spokesman, Jon Nelson, said crashes can happen at anytime and on any road.
"It doesn't matter the type of road or the type of weather, if we make poor choices we are putting others and ourselves in danger," Nelson said.
Corporal Green with the Missouri State Highway Patrol says driving at high speeds is a main cause of death or injury crashes in Mid-Missouri.
"With I-70 coming through Missouri a lot of high speed crashes happen up there, the crashes that we work there and 63 and US-54 in this area, are deadly," Green said.
Nelson said vehicle crashes happen all over Missouri whether its in a metropolitan area or a rural area.
"We do see them throughout the state in big metropolitan areas like St. Louis or Kansas City but we also see them in the country," Nelson said.
While a majority of drivers on the road will make it from point A to point B, Corporal Green said, distracted drivers will not.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 989 lives were lost in Missouri traffic crashes in 2020, up from 881 in 2019.