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Missouri traffic fatalities surpassed 1000 in 2021

Vehicles travel on a roadway at night
Vehicles travel on a roadway at night

Around two-thirds of those who were killed last year were unbuckled.

Traffic fatalities in Missouri surpassed 1000 last year for the first time since 2006.

The Missouri Department of Transportation reported this week that 1,004 people were killed on the state’s roadways last year, a nearly three percent increase over 2020 and it marks the second straight year of growing fatalities after nearly a decade of steady decline.

In a news release, MODOT director, Patrick McKinna, said those fatalities are “unacceptable, alarming and preventable.” He urged people to wear their seat belts. Approximately two-thirds of those killed in traffic crashes last year weren’t buckled up.

Preliminary data shows cellphone use while driving was responsible for 2,200 crashes last year in Missouri, although distracted driving remains widely underreported, MODOT said. Forty percent of the fatal crashes in 2021 involved speeding or driving too fast for conditions.