MoDot Reports Increase in 2012 Vehicle Fatalities

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JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Department of Transportation marks 2012 as the first year to show an increase in deadly vehicle accidents, in six years. MoDOT reports a 3% increase in motor vehicle deaths so far for the year 2012, compared to last year.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says there's been 71 deaths caused by vehicle accidents so far, in 2011 the total number of of deaths was 64.

"One of the main factors causing so many bad accidents is due to the warm weather, we had a mild winter, and unusual warm weather earlier this year prompting drivers, especially motorcyclists to go on the road", said Sally Oxenhandler, MoDOT Customer Relations Manager.

The holiday season is in full swing, MoDOT predicts there will be more traffic on the roads between now and New Years, encouraging drivers to take precautions.

"During the holiday season there is an added risk. A lot of fatalities come from not wearing a seatbelt, and that is the one thing we encourage most because we know seatbelts save lives," said Oxenhandler.

MoDOT recently issued a smart phone appication called, "MoDOT Transportation Information", which allows Missouri drivers to check road conditions, construstion detours, and traffic along their paths of travel.