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Iowa’s Life Toll outpaces fatalities so far in 2011

AMES, Iowa ñ March 10, 2011 ñ Life or death, road trips on Iowa highways can end either way. One statistic Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) officials update daily is the number of people who have survived serious injury or death because they were buckled up at the time of a crash.

This “Life Toll” began with the implementation of Iowa’s primary seat belt law on July 1, 1986. “We often see the Life Toll outpace the fatality number in January and into February,” said Scott Falb of the Iowa DOT’s Office of Driver Services. “But this is the first time we have been into March and the number of lives saved surpasses the number of lives lost.”

So far in 2011, 43 individuals are listed on the Life Toll, while 35 people have died on Iowa roadways. Of the 35 people who have died, 14 were unbelted.

Iowa DOT statistics indicate Iowa’s seat belt compliance is holding steady at about 93 percent. Falb says, “It’s that 7 percent of people who still don’t take the time to buckle up that cause us the most concern. Clicking the seat belt into the buckle is the simplest way to protect yourself in the event of a motor vehicle crash.”|

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