Fatal crashes in Missouri down in 2013

COLUMBIA, Mo. - While some are still making their way home from the holidays, this Missouri State Highway Patrol's New Year's holiday counting period has come to an end, this year with results they hope for every year- zero deaths.

That is 12 less than last year's. However, that counting period in 2012 was longer starting on December 28.

This year, drivers seemed to be more cautious and law enforcement stepped up patrols.

"We tried to look for areas where we had particular problems and we focus our enforcement effort where we have a high number of crashes or traffic violations. We know if we can reduce the number of traffic violations then we can in turn reduce the number of crashes we see," said Lt. John Hotz with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Since 2005, the number of traffic deaths has gone down by nearly 50 percent.

"We've been seeing this trend of the numbers going down for the entire year," said Hotz.

Hotz told ABC 17 News this year they have focused on getting people to buckle up.

"Our hope is that we can increase the percentage of people wearing seat belts in their vehicles. If we can do that we know people's chances of survival go up exponentially," said Hotz.

Missouri Highway Patrol found that in deadly car accidents on the highway, 63 percent of them were not wearing seat belts.

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