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Missouri Surpasses 1,000 Traffic Fatalities in 2021

For the first time since 2006, Missouri’s traffic fatalities surpassed 1,000. The Missouri Department of Transportation says according to preliminary data, 1,007 people were killed in Missouri traffic crashes in 2021, a 2 percent increase over 2020 and marking the second straight year of growing fatality totals after nearly a decade of steady decline.

MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna says the lack of seat belt use continues to be a common denominator in fatal crashes. Approximately two-thirds of vehicle occupants killed were not wearing a seat belt.

Drivers using a cellphone were involved in more than 2,200 crashes in Missouri in 2021, although distracted driving remains widely underreported. And 41 percent of the fatal crashes on the year involved speeding or driving too fast for the conditions.

Show-Me Zero, Missouri’s strategic highway safety plan, focuses on four ways every Missourian can help eliminate traffic deaths – buckle up, phone down, slow down and drive sober.

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