HUXLEY, Iowa – The year 2015 was one of the safest years to be on the roads in Iowa and just missed setting an all-time record for fewest deaths. This year, though, is completely different.
“Yeah. Yeah. It’s way ahead of schedule,” said Sgt. Nathan Ludwig, Iowa State Patrol. “It’s been frustrating. It’s been head scratching. Most of the deaths were preventable.”
As of February 15th, we have had 35 deaths on Iowa roads. That is an over 40% increase from the same period in 2015.
The State Patrol attributes the high death count to the unpredictable weather the state has received.
“I think the big thing is we get an inch or two and people think it’s ok to drive,” said Sgt. Ludwig. “That is the worst to drive in because people believe they can drive the speed limit. They should slow down. It’s better when we get a blizzard because people become cautious.”
Since January 1st, the State Patrol has responded to 792 total accidents and 227 were in the Des Moines metro.
“It’s Iowa weather. We go in spurts. We get used to driving the speed limit for a week, then we get snow and we forget how to drive,” said Sgt. Ludwig.
Sgt. Ludwig wants to see the fatal accidents on the roads come back to average and he urges us to use our seatbelts.
“Forty-percent of all fatalities this year, involved motorists who failed to use their safety belt,” said Sgt. Ludwig.