(Jefferson County) The Missouri State Highway Patrol is reporting an increase in traffic crashes and fatalities over the past month.

Corporal Juston Wheetley with the highway patrol explains why.

According to Corporal Wheetley, Troopers are trying to make sure they are following social distancing guidelines; however, being a first responder comes first.

Troopers are taking precautions in trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Corporal Wheetley adds in January of this year traffic fatalities where down nearly 10 percent from what they were in 2019, but in the last month those numbers have jumped up to being almost 7 percent higher, with a 16 percent increase in fatalities from February to March of this year.