Fewer cars were on the road in 2020 because of the pandemic, but the Highway Patrol reports Missouri traffic-related deaths were up 12% compared to 2019. It is the most fatalities reported since 2007.
“Nearly every fatal crash that occurs is preventable,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol Public Information and Education Director, Cpt. John Hotz, in a press release Thursday. “Over 90% of these crashes were the result of someone simply making a poor decision, primarily: driving too fast, driving distracted or driving impaired. Many of those killed were not wearing a seat belt.”
MSHP reported 25% jumps in deaths for drivers that were speeding or not wearing their seatbelts.
There were 989 deaths in Missouri traffic crashes in 2020, compared to 881 in 2019. MSHP reported 126 pedestrian deaths in 2020, the largest number ever recorded.