SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A recent spike in highway fatalities threatens to end a six-year decline, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The Patrol says as of Sunday, the number of motorists killed on the state's highways is 375. That’s a jump of 62 from the end of June last year.
“We’re concerned by this year’s 20 percent increase over last year, where death and serious injury could have been prevented,” Superintendent Col Ron Replogle said in a public service announcement on the Patrol’s website.
Crash reports indicate over two-thirds of those fatalities involved people who were not wearing a seat belt, the Patrol said in a news release.
“For this reason, the Patrol reminds every driver it is their responsibility to ensure everyone in their vehicle is wearing a seatbelt or in an approved child restraint seat,” Replogle said.
A common theme in the crashes is failure to remain in the proper lane, which includes crossing over the center line and running off the right side of the road, according to the Patrol release.
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