The Missouri State Highway Patrol has been talking about the decline in fatal accidents over the past six years. In 2011, troopers saw the lowest number of fatal accidents statewide since the 1940's. But this year the fatality rate appears to be in the rise.
"I don't think there is anything you can say is contributing to these fatal traffic crashes however we do know that in the State of Missouri inattentive driving is the leading cause of all accidents and speed is the leading cause of all fatal crashes," says Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
In 2012, there has been a significant increase in the number of deadly traffic crashes statewide. So far this year we've seen 459 fatal accidents. That compares to 401 at this time in 2011 which is a 14% increase.
In Troop D, which covers 18 counties in southwest Missouri, 82 people have died in traffic crashes. That compares to 61 from January to July last year which is an alarming 34% increase.
Monday morning a woman from Bolivar was killed in a crash just south of the city. Troopers say she failed to yield and drove out into the path of another car leaving that woman in serious condition. Investigators say neither drivers were wearing their seatbelts.
Investigators say so many accidents could easily be avoided. "We've seen people out grooming, we've seen people out trying to read and drive at the same time," explains Sgt. Pace.
The Highway Patrol says they will continue to their part to make the roads safer but they can't do it alone. "The four E's education, enforcement, engineering of the roads and advances in emergency medical services. We want to add a fifth E, everyone. We want everyone to do their part."
To learn more about traffic accidents you can visit the Missouri State Highway Patrol's website by clicking here.