Roadside Chat - When safety is first, you last

11-12 when safety is firstLiving a long, healthy life – it’s a goal for many of us. To help prolong our lives many of us do things like eat right, exercise, and visit the doctor regularly.

But often we make little decisions regarding our safety behind the wheel that can have a big impact on our longevity. Crashes, including ones causing fatalities, are not inevitable. Data shows that there are five simple actions you can do to survive your next trip in a vehicle.

  1. Buckle up
  2. Pay attention
  3. Drive sober
  4. Stay alert
  5. Drive chill (don’t speed or drive aggressively)

The five actions seem so simple but can be so difficult to live out. We are masters at rationalizing why we take the risks we do. We say things like this to ourselves all the time.

  1. “I’m just going a few blocks. I don’t need to buckle up.”
  2. “It’s just quick text. It will only take a few seconds.”
  3. “I’ve only had a few beers, I’m fine to drive home.”
  4. “I’m pretty tired, but there’s no law against driving drowsy.”
  5. “I can’t be late for the start of the ball game.”

We need to stop lying to ourselves and consider the consequences of our actions. Making the right decision can prolong your life or the lives of others.

In 2021, there have been 299 deaths in traffic crashes. That is an increase of eight since last Friday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Have a comment?


©  Iowa Department of Transportation.  All rights reserved.