Mo. State Highway Patrol encourages drivers to avoid distracted driving as they say fatal crashes down 6-percent

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that 2016 was a deadly year for Missouri drivers and they don't want a repeat this year, so they want to remind drivers to be more vigilant when they get behind the wheel.

There were 949 lost their lives on Missouri Roadways last year, but this year it's down 6-percent and that's the way officials want to keep it.

And with more people expected to travel during the summer vacations and more summer construction projects getting underway the crashes might start to pick up.

MoDOT and Missouri Highway Patrol agree that the number one reason for crashes in Missouri is inattentiveness including talking on a cell phone, talking to a passenger, listening to the radio. They just want to give a friendly reminder to pay more attention to driving.

"It is sometimes referred to as the 100 deadliest days of summer so we need to be mindful of that and again that first level of prevention and safety is in the hands of the wheel of the driver," Bill Whitfield with MoDOT said.

AAA says the '100 Deadliest Days' is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the average number of deadly teen driver crashes climb 15 percent compared to the rest of the year.

AAA suggests the following tips to help:
-- Have conversations with teens early and often about distraction and speeding
-- Teach by example and minimize risky behavior when driving
-- Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen driving

Click here for a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement from AAA

For more tips and stats about teen driving from AAA, click here.