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Motor vehicle fatalities in Iowa hit abnormally high level in January

This news story was published on February 4, 2012.
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AMES, Iowa – Feb. 3, 2012 – While January’s unseasonable warm weather was enjoyable, it did little to prevent a significant increase in traffic fatalities. With the forecasted winter storm this weekend, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is asking motorists to exercise additional caution. During the winter months, an unexpected slick spot could be encountered at any time.

After finishing 2011 with the least number of traffic fatalities in 67 years, the Iowa DOT is reporting 41 husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, sisters, brothers, and sons and daughters lost their lives on the state’s highways in the first month of this year. That compares to 15 in January 2011 and a five-year average (2006-2011) of 27 fatalities for the month of January.

The Iowa DOT urges motorists to – Curb it-Click It. Limit distractions, like texting and driving; and be sure that you and all passengers in your vehicle are wearing their seat belts.

Seat belts are your best protection in a crash. They are designed so that the forces of a crash are absorbed by the strongest areas of the body; the bones of the hips, shoulders and chest. They keep you in place so that you are not ejected from the vehicle; and your head, face and chest are less likely to strike other passengers or the windshield, dashboard or other parts of the vehicle’s interior.

Among the 41 fatalities that occurred in January, 13 people were unbelted. Law enforcement officials were unable to determine whether three individuals were using their seat belts. Law enforcement officers also reported that 19 individuals escaped serious injury or death because they were buckled up at the time of the crash.

The Iowa DOT recommends travelers carefully monitor weather and road conditions throughout the weekend. For road condition information, visit, call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide)

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3 Responses to Motor vehicle fatalities in Iowa hit abnormally high level in January

  1. Avatar

    Larry Reply Report comment

    February 4, 2012 at 11:09 am

    It’s all about the insurance company’s. They are only worried about how much money they can make. Our so called safety really doesn’t matter to them.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 4, 2012 at 10:25 am

    that leaves 28 people that died while wearing their seat opinion is it’s my choice if I wear it or don’t wear it. seat belts also have been the reason people have died, by causing the injuries that killed them.

    • Avatar

      Katie Reply Report comment

      February 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Then how do you explain the lowest fatality rate in Iowa since 1944? You probably think motorcycle helmets are a bad idea, too. I hope you’re not in my health insurance pool. Oh, but you probably don’t have insurance because you expect the people who pay taxes to take care of you if you get injured or sick. Hey, I choose NOT to pay for people like you who choose not to take responsibility for your own safety. But the government forces me to do so anyway. So get over it and wear your seat belt. And helmet. We’re all forced to do things we don’t agree with.