Late-night driving fatality rate highest in four years

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COLUMBIA - MoDOT released a report showing the fatality rate during late-night hours is the highest it's been since 2012, indicating that night time fatalities are increasing.

The fatalities during night time conditions are the highest in 4 years in large part due to people not being buckled.

"We have the added traffic with students, and of course students, especially during this time, with finals coming up, are distracted between that," said driver Scott Smith. "We have distractions of cell phones, and this time of day, during rush hour there seems to be an exponential amount of traffic."

The data showed in 2012, night time driving resulted in 384 fatalities and 1,861 serious injuries.

In 2013, 332 fatalities happened and 1,607 injuries happened. In 2014, fatalities were 321 and injuries 1,469. During the past three years, 44 percent of Missouri traffic crashes happened at night.

"Definitely I think it's a time to wear a seatbelt, all the time not just during the day time, but it's just a habit I think that should be automatic for anybody in this day in age," Smith said.

Data showed of the occupants killed in Missouri from traffic crashes from 2012-2014, 59 percent were not wearing seat belts during the day, compared to 74 percent at night.