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Traffic accidents and fatalities are on a rise in 2021 in Missouri

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(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) With only a few months left to go in 2021, the Missouri State Highway Patrol are concerned with the rise in traffic fatalities.

"Not what we want, an increase ever, I don't care if it's 1% or 30% we don't want an increase," said Missouri State Highway Patrol Public Information Officer for Troop H, Jake Angle. "Here locally in Troop H, as of yesterday, I think we had a 30% increase over this time last year"

And traffic fatalities are higher across the state as well. 

"But as of yesterday I think there was a 2 percent increase statewide," said Angle.

Last year at this time there were 26 deaths from traffic accidents. At the same point in 2021, there have been 34.

Officials say it is hard to determine the main cause behind this, but do say drivers need to slow down and be aware.

"Seems like everybody is in a hurry, you know if we can get people to slow down, you know plan extra time in your trip so you don't have to be in a hurry," said Angle.

Roadway accidents aren't just becoming more fatal, but more common. 

According to MoDOT officials, statewide there has been a 25% increase in work zone related crashes

"We've seen a record number of the work zone TMA truck crashes this year so far. It's definitely trending in the wrong direction," said MoDOT State Highways Safety and Traffic Engineer, Nicole Hood.

The TMA trucke are the main victims. MoDOT says these trucks have been struck 52 times this year while protecting road crews. 10 more than this time last year.

"The crashes often are the result of a driver not paying attention or driving too fast. We really saw a lot of the speeding and reckless driving during the pandemic and unfortunately we are see that disturbing trend this year," said Hood.

With the majority of these accidents happening between 11:00am and 2:00pm.

MoDOT hopes to see a decline.

"It's something that we should all take very seriously and that personal responsibility that we all have is very important," said Hood.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol and MoDOT partner up frequently to get the message across, to drive safely.

"One fatality is too many. We will keep hammering away and doing what we do, but we sure need the public help as well," said Angle.

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