Fatalities on Missouri roadways dipped slightly for 2023.
According to preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Transportation, 989 fatalities occurred on Missouri roadways in 2023.
It is a decrease of six percent when compared to 2022 when there were 1,057 fatalities.
It is the first year since 2019 that Missouri has seen a decrease in roadway fatalities.
While overall roadway fatalities were down, motorcyclist fatalities have never been higher.
Preliminary numbers indicate that 175 motorcyclists were killed on Missouri roadways in 2023, a 14 percent increase over the previous year (153 fatalities).
It is the highest number of motorcyclist fatalities ever reported in Missouri and almost 50 percent higher than the average number of motorcyclist fatalities prior to the repeal of Missouri’s all-rider helmet law in 2020.
Safety professionals cite the lack of helmet use as a major contributing factor to the increase.
Of the vehicle occupants killed in 2023, 63 percent were not wearing a seat belt.
Distracted driving contributed to more than 100 deaths in 2023, and historically, more than half of the victims are someone other than the distracted driver.
Impaired driving accounted for approximately 17 percent of the fatalities in 2023, while speed and other aggressive driving behaviors remained the top concern, contributing to more than half of the total fatalities.