Driver crash fatality rate highest in 3 years

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JEFFERSON CITY — MoDot found lane departure crashes resulted in the most crash-related deaths among Missouri drivers in the past three years.

MoDot officials have been digging into records comparing the data from all reported crashes from 2012 to 2014.
Lane departure crashes, when drivers veer out of their lane, account for 81 percent of deaths.

Sgt. Scott White from the Missouri Highway Patrol said it's becoming a serious problem.
"With gas prices so low, there are just more drivers on the road and accidents are more prevalent," he said.
What the study found
The report said 1,910 deaths happened due to lane departure crashes, compared to intersection crashes which accounted for 346 deaths.
Lane departure crashes also resulted in 9,940 serious injuries, more than double the number of intersection crashes at 3,800 serious injuries.
MoDot reported that lane departure accidents most commonly occurred when drivers lost control of the vehicle, and reported to be distracted. The crashes often resulted in hitting another vehicle or roadway sign.
Male drivers were found to be twice as likely as female drivers to be involved in a lane departure crash.
White said the statistics are getting worse.
"This year we have 222 fatal crashes reported, which is a 16 percent increase from last year around this time when we had 190," he said.
Although the stereotype that negatively reflects woman drivers, one local driver found the statistic to be believable.
"Women are great drivers, if anything they are more cautious than men," Melvin Leonard, a local driver said. 
MSHP says it plans to continue to educate future drivers on keeping an eye on the road and take all necessary precautions. 
White said the easiest prevention is simply wearing a seatbelt.
"It's the hardest part of our job having to tell a family member that their loved one isn't coming home and knowing it could have been prevented."