For the first time since 2006, Missouri’s traffic fatalities surpassed 1,000. According to preliminary data, 1,007 people were killed in Missouri traffic crashes in 2021, a 2% increase over 2020 and marking the second straight year of growing fatality totals after nearly a decade of steady decline.
Within the Green Hills region, the number of traffic fatalities for 2021 was 12.
That was two traffic deaths fewer than in 2020. Grundy county experienced five of the traffic fatalities last year including one within the city of Trenton. The highway patrol investigated one fatality accident in each of the area counties: Daviess, Harrison, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Putnam, and Sullivan.
MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna says there are simple things that can make a real impact on roadways. Wearing your seat belt, he said, is the best line of defense in a crash and avoiding distractions can prevent those crashes in the first place. Buckle up, phone down.”
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. Preliminary data shows drivers using a cellphone were involved in more than 2,200 crashes in Missouri in 2021, although distracted driving remains widely underreported. And 41% of the fatal crashes on the year involved speeding or driving too fast for the conditions.
Highway Patrol Colonel Eric Olsen says troopers are dedicated to promoting safety upon our highways and working to reduce the number and severity of traffic crashes. He requested the public’s help in preventing fatalities by paying attention to the full-time job of driving, obeying all traffic laws, and wearing a seat belt.
Missouri’s strategic highway safety plan, Show-Me Zero, focuses on four ways to help eliminate traffic deaths – buckle up, phone down, slow down and drive sober.
For more information on the Show-Me Zero plan and to learn how Missourians can help make the roadways safer, visit the save more lives website.