The number of fatal traffic accidents in Missouri has increased 6% over the same time period last year. State Patrol Captain John Hotz says preliminary statistics indicate that Missouri has had 437 traffic fatalities so far in 2015, compared to 412 fatalities during the same time last year. Hotz says 63% of those killed in traffic accidents were not wearing a seat belt.

Courtesy Missouri State Highway Patrol

Courtesy Missouri State Highway Patrol

“We just want to remind everybody to pay attention, to obey the speed limit and to not drive while impaired,” says Hotz. “Inattention, speeding and driving under the influence are the top three causes each year of fatal traffic crashes in Missouri.”

Hotz says law enforcement is concerned about the figures.

“We want to do what we can to try and raise everybody’s awareness about these two issues,” says Hotz. “Hopefully drivers can re-evaluate the way that they are either driving or operating a boat or recreating around the waterway.”

There have also been 30 drownings in Missouri lakes and rivers so far in 2015, compared to 29 in all of 2014.