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Missouri Traffic Deaths at Six Decade Low

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Deaths on Missouri highways have hit the lowest point in more than six decades. While highway deaths totaled more than 700 in 2013, that's down from 2012.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Deaths on Missouri highways have hit the lowest point in more than six decades. While highway deaths totaled more than 700 in 2013, that's down from 2012.

With the exception of 2012, the number of deaths on Missouri state highways have decreased.
Unofficial numbers show in 2013, 754 deaths were reported and of those, 63 percent of the people were not wearing seatbelts.

Sergeant Jason Pace of the Missouri Highway Patrol says wearing your seatbelt can make a difference between life or death if you are involved in an accident.

He says statistics show a person is 42 times more likely to survive an accident by wearing your safety belt.

Pace says since 2005 there's been a 41 percent decline in fatal accidents and the second time since the 1940s there has been less than 800 deaths.

"I would like to think our enforcement efforts have played a role in that, the aggressive driving saturation checkpoints, things of that nature, we would like to think that's contributed. Secondly, the engineering of the roads with the rumble strips, the median cables and things of that nature, I think the designs of the roads have contributed to the safety as well."

Pace says different laws have changed when it comes to seatbelts and booster seats. Missouri state law says children should be in a rear facing car seat until two years old and a front facing seat until four. After that, they should be in the appropriate car seat until they reach 80 pounds or 4 foot nine.
   
Pace says using a booster seat helps raise your child to make sure the seatbelt fits properly and is providing the best form of safety.  Those numbers will become official in just two days from now.



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