Roadside Chat - I like to buckle. Buckling is my favorite.

12-9 bucklings my favoriteBuckling your seat belt, no matter where you’re sitting in the vehicle, can save your life. It’s really just that simple.

Each year the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau conducts a survey of front-seat passengers to see how many are buckling up. In 2021, nearly 93 percent of front-seat passengers were buckled.

It sounds great that nearly all front-seat passengers are buckled until you also learn that of the 317 deaths on Iowa roads so far in 2022, 102, or nearly one-third, were unbuckled. Those are real people who won’t be there to celebrate holiday traditions with their family and friends such as watching iconic movies, like Elf, the inspiration for this week’s message.

It is true that not all of those mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends would have survived if their seat belts were buckled, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows the benefits of buckling up are clear:

  • If you buckle up in the front seat of a passenger car, you can reduce your risk of:
    • Fatal injury by 45%
    • Moderate to critical injury by 50%
  • If you buckle up in a light truck, you can reduce your risk of:
    • Fatal injury by 60%
    • Moderate to critical injury by 65%

Even Santa needs a seat belt!

In Iowa in 2022, there have been 320 deaths in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of four since last Friday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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