JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri highway officials say last year was the deadliest year on state roads since 2007, despite fewer people driving because of the coronavirus pandemic. Preliminary figures indicate 989 people died in traffic crashes last year, a 12% increase from 2019. That number includes 126 pedestrian deaths – the most ever in Missouri. State officials say unbuckled and speed-related fatalities increased 25%. The National Transportation Board says traffic fatalities increased 4.6% nationwide in the first nine months of 2020. The board said having fewer people on the road encouraged drivers to take more risks, resulting in more crashes.