Roadside Chat - Final four winners: buckled, sober, slow & focused

4-5 final fourWith all the hype surrounding college basketball tournaments and the Hawkeye women playing in the Final Four, here’s a reminder of the winning final four to stay safe while behind the wheel.

  1. Buckle up:

Unbuckled people account for nearly half of our state’s highway fatalities. That’s a startling statistic considering research shows the majority of front seat passengers buckle up.

  1. Slow down and drive chill:

Don’t let speeding or aggressive driving cost you your life. In the first two months of 2024, more than 100 people have been ticketed for speed exceeding 100 mph, according to the Iowa State Patrol. That reckless speed can kill.

  1. Drive sober:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths in 2020 - a 14% increase from 2019, even though drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades. These deaths were all preventable.

  1. Pay attention:

Whenever you take your eyes, hands, or mind off safely driving your vehicle itputs you, and those you’re sharing the road with, in danger. Instead of focusing on distractions that can harm you and others, focus on the things that drive you to get home safely.

To help prevent the next trip from being your “final” trip. Coach yourself to use these four behaviors as the game plan for safely arriving back to your home team.    

Check out the resources for safer driving through the “What Drives You” campaign.

So far in 2024 in Iowa, 58 people have been killed in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of seven since last Friday. In Iowa in 2023, there were 377 traffic-related deaths. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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