Missouri's Deadly Drivers

1 decade 5 months 1 week ago Thursday, July 05 2007 Jul 5, 2007 Thursday, July 05, 2007 9:40:32 PM CDT July 05, 2007 in News
Kayla Sallee came to the license bureau to take her driving test. She passed the test and got her license on her second try. But Kayla might think twice when she hits the road.

In 2005, 244 teen drivers died on Missouri roads. That's 19 percent of total driving fatalities. This deadly statistic places Missouri fifth in the nation after Delware, Maine, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Sallee's best friend died last month in a traffic accident caused by speeding and inattention. Sallee's father is confident in her driving skills but is still concerned about her safety.

"I'll worry about her. I'm concerned and I'll remind her regularly to practice that defensive driving. To look after herself and to look after other drivers. To be defensive, okay. Because other people make mistakes as well as she does," said David Sallee.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the high number of youth traffic fatalities isn't a surprise.

"We've been aware of the problem for some time. We are trying innovative techniques not only enforcement-wise but also help to stress the importance of driving and how dangerous driving can be," said Lt. John Hotz of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Careless driving, speeding, and not paying attention to traffic are most often what get young people into auto accidents. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says young drivers in particular have to make sure they buckle up before they drive.

The study comes from the Coalition to End Needless Death on our Roadways. The group based its findings on 2005 data, the latest available.

Reported by Kuba Wuls

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