JEFFERSON CITY, MO (AP) - The year 2015 was a deadly one for Missouri motorists.
More than 800 people died last year on the state's roads, an 11.4 percent increase from the previous year.
As of Dec. 31, 853 people died in traffic crashes. Of those, 63 percent of drivers and passengers were not wearing seat belts.
"Fifty percent of those not belted were also ejected from the vehicle," said Colonel Bret Johnson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "Seat belt use is the single most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries."
MSHP says the leading causes of fatal crashes continue to be speeding, driver inattention and impaired driving.
The Missouri Department of Transportation offers the following tips to prevent a fatal crash:
- Never drive distracted
- Drive the speed limit and reduce speed for weather conditions
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Always wear a seat belt and make sure your passengers are buckled up
- Never drive impaired by alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs
- Maintain a safe following distance behind other vehicles
- Obey Missouri traffic laws
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