Missouri sees drop in traffic deaths in 2013

A report by the Missouri State Highway Patrol shows a huge drop in deaths from 2012 to 2013.

Expansion of Missouri highways played a major role in reducing traffic fatalities last year.

A report by the Missouri State Highway Patrol shows a huge drop in deaths from 2012 to 2013.

The number of traffic related deaths on Missouri highway roads are at an all time low and continuing to drop.

Twenty-thirteen saw a 29 percent decrease in the number of crash related deaths across sixteen counties in Northeast Missouri.

Statewide traffic deaths have dropped from 826 fatalities in 2012, to 744 in 2013.

Driver Billie Schmidt says he thinks drivers are becoming more patient. "Go slow, take it easy, don't get into a hurry," he said.

He also says it because of the renovations to expand Missouri highways.

"It's a little bit easier to get around that way, if somebody stuck you got away to get around them," Schmidt explained.

The Missouri Department of Transportation installed four-lane highways to decrease cross-lane crashes and many law enforcement officials say it's the main reason behind the reduction in crashes.

"The highway systems that have been improved throughout the state of Missouri and Northeast Missouri. Many of the highways in Northeast Missouri, that use to be two-lane highways, have now been made into four-lane highways, which makes traveling much more safer for our motorists," Sgt. Brent Bernhardt with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

Bernhardt says the numbers are also down because of larger highway patrolling presence.

"The law enforcement efforts of getting out on the highways and enforcing, vigorously enforcing Missouri traffic laws is very important as well as the educational efforts that we are promoting to the public," Sgt. Bernhardt said.

Schmidt hopes that the numbers continue to drop in the new year.

According to Sgt. Bernhardt, 63 percent of drivers killed on Missouri highways last year weren't wearing their seat belts.