A couple of stories contributed by Learfield News show traffic fatalities on Missouri roads are trending down this year, while drowning deaths are up:

MISSOURI ROADS SAFER

(JEFFERSON CITY)--Drivers are staying safer on Missouri highways this year. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports traffic fatalities are down by 16 percent.

So far in 2013, a total of 364 people have died in traffic accidents. That number was 431 at the same point in 2012.

Missouri’s traffic fatality count grew to 826 last year after falling consistently for several years. So far this time, the number of traffic accident-related deaths is comparable to 2011 when 786 drivers and passengers were killed.

 

DROWNING DEATHS UP IN MISSOURI

(Undated)--Many people think they are better swimmers than they really are – and, when they drown, alcohol is often involved.

The Missouri Highway Patrol reports drowning deaths are up by 20 percent over last year. Several factors can be blamed. Last year’s drought meant swimming holes and ponds were often dry. Mild weather this year has drawn people to waterways.

Deaths by drowning total 24 so far. Missouri and Kansas together have had more drowning deaths already than all of last year.