HighwayPatrol-Featured2013-2JEFFERSON CITY,  Mo. — The Missouri State Highway Patrol announced an increase in traffic fatalities and drownings so far in 2015.

The report released Tuesday indicated 437 traffic fatalities in Missouri so far, compared to 412 fatalities recorded by July 2014. This six percent increase is partially due to a lack of seat belts.

Roughly 63 percent of all traffic fatalities were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The report highlighted speeding and impaired driving as the leading cause of accidents in the state.

Highway Patrol reports also revealed 30 drownings in lakes and rivers, compared to 29 in 2014. There have been four drownings in the last week, none of which were wearing life jackets.

With flood waters continuing to prove dangerous during the summer, the Missouri State Highway Patrol is urging all boaters to research Missouri’s waterways before going out. Flooded rivers and streams can easily capsize boats, especially when flood debris is present.

For more information see the full news release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol below:

Patrol Announces An Increase In Traffic Fatalities And Drownings So Far In 2015.

MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL
A Division Of The
Department of Public Safety
Public Information and Education Division – PO Box 568 – Jefferson City, MO 65102
NEWS RELEASE

For further information please contact: Capt. John J. Hotz
Q07272015-1 (573) 526-6115

July 27, 2015
EMPHASIS: Patrol Announces An Increase In Traffic Fatalities And Drownings So Far In 2015.

Colonel J. Bret Johnson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, announces Missouri has experienced an increase in traffic fatalities and drowning’s so far in 2015.

Preliminary statistics indicate that Missouri has recorded 437 traffic fatalities so far in 2015, compared to 412 fatalities during the same time in 2014. This is a six percent increase from the same time last year. Of those required to be restrained, approximately 63 percent were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Inattention, speed, and impaired driving continue to be the leading causes of traffic crashes in Missouri. The Patrol is committed to continuing our enforcement and educational efforts to reduce these numbers. Motorists are asked to do their part by paying attention to the full-time job of driving, obeying the speed limit and never driving impaired. Remember the best defense against all types of unsafe drivers is to make sure that everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint.

A total of 30 drownings have occurred on Missouri’s lakes and rivers so far in 2015, compared to 29 in all of 2014. There have been four drownings in the last five days and one near drowning. None of the victims were wearing life jackets. Flood waters have proven to be very dangerous this year to motorists as well as those in and around Missouri’s lakes and streams. Motorists should never drive through fast-moving water; even a small amount of fast-moving water can sweep a slow-moving vehicle off the roadway. If your vehicle becomes stuck in rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground. Flooded rivers and streams with strong current present some of the most dangerous situations a boater can encounter. Fast moving water can easily capsize a boat, especially when combined with floating debris or fixed objects such as trees. Boaters should take the time to research existing water conditions which could potentially be hazardous. As temperatures rise, more people will utilize our waterways to cool off. Be smart, don’t overestimate your swimming ability. Life jackets should be worn when in or around Missouri’s waterways, and if not worn, within reach.

Approximately 63 percent of Missouri fatal crash victims who are required to be restrained are NOT at the time of the traffic crash. The Patrol urges motorists to protect themselves and their passengers by making sure everyone is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Join us in supporting the Drive To Zero Highway Deaths. Watercraft operators should ensure that everyone in the vessel is wearing an approved life jacket. Click It 4 Life And Wear It!!!