Transportation Matters in Iowa | Blog

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Message Monday - Not buckled? Personal foul, roughing the driver


2-4 message mondayIn Iowa, our statewide seat belt usage rate is 93.4 percent. While you might think that is great, and it is, it’s not great enough. Last year at least 82 of the 318 people who died in Iowa crashes in 2018 weren’t wearing seat belts.

That means more than one-third of those who died last year may have survived with a simple click of the belt.

Many times unbuckled passengers, especially those in the back seat, can become projectiles in a crash, bouncing around the vehicle. They can cause death or serious injuries to themselves or others in the vehicle, even those who are buckled up.

What does it look like for that unbuckled back seat passenger in a 35 mph crash?

For 2019, there have been 21 fatalities reported. That’s an increase of 11 since last Monday. The 2018 fatality count stands at 318. This is subject to change as law enforcement reports are completed. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at




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Iowa highway in the evening