17 people die on Missouri highways over Independence Day weekend
Some Columbia residents say they avoid highways on holiday weekends
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports 17 fatal crashes over the Independence Day holiday weekend.
Those numbers included a motorcycle crash in Columbia and a crash in St. Louis city limits, as well as on the roads under the Highway Patrol's jurisdiction.
Trooper Matt Broniec told ABC 17 News Sunday the numbers from last year are significantly lower, but part of that is because the counting period was only two days.
But he said this Fourth of July was not a good day. Seven people were killed on the roads Thursday and five of them were in the same car.
Even though there are an extra two days in this counting period, some travelers told ABC 17 News they still though 17 deaths was a high number.
Most travelers said they worry more about their safety driving on a holiday weekend versus a regular weekend.
"During the holidays, I tend not to drive on the highways," said Jennifer Gross of Kansas City.
Trooper Broniec said drivers always need to drive with caution, but especially on holiday weekends.
He said people tend to drive farther to get to their holiday destinations and there are more cars on the roads than usual.
Gross told ABC 17 News she also believes there are more contributing factors.
"People are out partying, people tired, unfamiliar with the area, I think that all contributes to a little riskier behavior on the highways," Gross said.
Drivers who talked to ABC 17 News said if they have to drive on the highway during a busy holiday weekend, they remain extremely aware of their surroundings and encourage others to do the same.
"Be cautious of everybody else and you can't really predict, you know, what anybody is going to do, so just be aware of everybody else," Columbia resident Ineida Allen said.
The counting period ended Sunday at midnight.
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