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Men make up the majority of Missouri's traffic fatalities, often due to a lack of seat belt use, particularly among pickup truck drivers, according to statistics released recently by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.

Preliminary 2020 data indicate male pickup truck drivers account for 77 percent of the pickup truck fatalities so far this year.

In addition, 83 percent of the male pickup truck drivers killed were unbuckled.

The coalition and the Missouri Department of Transportation are stepping up efforts to target messaging and educational resources to males and those driving pickup trucks, according to a news release. Through a new video, the department hopes to encourage buckling up by outlining the consequences of not wearing a seat belt. The department will promote the video, which can be found at youtu.be/obmulMOYK6g and via social media.

So far this year, there have been 717 traffic fatalities, an increase of 76 more lives lost compared to the same time last year. Of the vehicle occupants killed in Missouri traffic crashes in 2020, 68 percent were unbuckled. Based on average survival rates, if everyone involved in these crashes had been buckled, more than 180 people who were killed would still be alive today, said Nicole Hood, State Highway Safety and Traffic engineer.

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