August 31, 2020
This year has been one that many of us would like to put behind us. From COVID-19 to Derecho, we’ve learned a whole new vocabulary related to disasters many didn’t see coming or have any control over.
There is one devastating tragedy you can avoid; it just takes a little effort. In 2020 traffic fatalities were going down significantly as fewer people were on Iowa roads. The number of fatalities in July and August has grown to alarming numbers. Higher speeds are one cause. There are things you can do every time you get behind the wheel that will help drive those numbers back down.
As if a global pandemic wasn’t enough this year, on Aug. 10, a windstorm of catastrophic proportions hit Iowa. Iowa Department of Transportation forces mobilized to the impacted areas within hours of the storm. Iowa DOT crews from more than 50 garages around the state hauled tens of thousands of truckloads of debris from nearly 40 cities and towns for the last few weeks. Almost every day, hundreds of DOTers used our trucks, loaders, excavators, and other equipment to get Iowa neighborhoods cleared of debris so people can begin the rebuilding process on damaged homes and other structures.
Prior to Aug. 10, few of us had ever heard the term “derecho.” We are all now very aware of the damage and destruction this “land hurricane” can cause.
It has been one heck of a year, and it’s not over yet. While Iowa’s traffic fatalities were down significantly in the early part of the COVID-19 crisis, the numbers are moving in the wrong direction with 44 fatalities in July, the highest number for that month since 2007.
Just like every other aspect of our lives, we each have to take personal responsibility to do what it takes to get through each situation. When you’re behind the wheel, the easiest and most effective way to make sure you get through your trip alive is to buckle up.
Seat belts and traffic safety are a serious business, but these days, we all need to have a little fun - https://youtu.be/cTw7yPnpDoM
For 2020, there have been 189 fatalities reported. That is an increase of 14 since last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at https://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf
Chill out – slow down and don’t drive aggressively
Driver sober – no drugs or alcohol
Focus on the road – minimize distractions
Stay alert – pull over and rest or switch drivers if you’re tired
Buckle up – every seat, every trip
These habits seem like common sense, but anyone who has been on the road sees drivers who struggle to do all five all the time.
Do you have a new driver in the house? Help them develop safe driving habits from the beginning… https://youtu.be/KZuwtUTYkmE
For 2020, there have been 175 fatalities reported. That is an increase of nine since last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at https://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf