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BOONE COUNTY - In the past year, the number of traffic crashes and fatalities decreased.

Preliminary data shows that in 2017, Boone County had 13 fatalities resulting from motor vehicle crashes, 12 less than in 2016.

In total, there were 904 less crashes in 2017 than there were in 2016.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said year after year, the most probable causes of a crash include speeding, failure to pay attention and driving while impaired.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop F Sergeant Scott White said it's important to plan ahead.

"It starts before you even hit the highway. You want to make sure you have a mindset that it could happen to me," White said. 
In 2016, the number one cause of a traffic crash was following too close. In 2017, failure to yield resulted in the number one cause. 

White said in order to keep traffic deaths decreasing, law enforcement needs the help of the community.

"We can't do it all by ourselves, we need the community's help and really it starts with putting on that seatbelt and giving yourself a fighting chance, if you do get in a crash."
Statewide troopers see over 60 percent of fatalities involving someone that is not wearing a seatbelt.
"Make sure you're wearing your seatbelt, drive sober, follow the speed limit and pay attention," White said. 
Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety Executive Chair Bill Whitfield said drivers must take responsibility for their actions.
Troop F covers Boone County and 12 other counties in Missouri. 

According to the most recent statement made by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, during the New Year’s counting period, which ran from December 29 to January 1, Troop F investigated 18 traffic crashes. There were three injuries, but no fatalities.