NEWS Patrol: Fatal crashes down overall, fatal crashes involving UTVs, ATVs up in 2022 | News

Patrol: Fatal crashes down overall, fatal crashes involving UTVs, ATVs up in 2022 | News

(Council Bluffs) — State law enforcement officials missed long-term annual goals for 2022 road traffic fatalities in Iowa.

That’s according to Ryan Devault, public resource officer for Iowa Patrol District 3, who told KMA News that the state will see 338 crashes in 2022. In Region 3, which includes Adair, Adams, Cass, Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie and Taylor counties, Devault reported 30 traffic fatalities. While that number fell short of the goal of keeping patrols below 300, Devault said it was down from recent years.

“In 2021, we had 356 people killed on our roads, and in 2020, we had 343, so those numbers hover above 300,” Devault said. “We’d really like to see those below 300, and we have different groups that are meeting and trying to come up with new, creative ways that we can influence people to make better choices when they’re driving.”

Patrol officials say the state has not had fewer than 300 traffic fatalities since 1925. However, Devault said that if more motorists wore their seat belts, they could reach that number in a significant way in the new year. Over the past few years, he said between 47% and 50% of people killed in accidents were not wearing seat belts.

“Just a few extra seconds to buckle up and hopefully we’ll bring those numbers down,” he said. “When you look at the average in Iowa, we’re close to 94 percent seat belt compliance in the state, so out of that 6 percent of people who aren’t wearing seat belts, we have a fair amount of people dying from accident. So, we want to see everyone doing their part.”

Individuals are nearly three times more likely to be fatally injured if they are thrown from a vehicle in an accident, Devault added. Another rising statewide statistic is the number of deaths from ATV or UTV accidents, with 11 in 2022. Devault said some of the growth could be due to more people using them due to recently passed legislation in the state.

“If you might be on a sidewalk or mallet road in a county seat, pay extra attention because you might see those,” advises Devault. “Be prepared for just about anything, but even if they’re a little bit bigger, they’re still small compared to most motorized vehicles. So generally, if you have an accident involving a smaller ATV, it won’t be a good thing.” “

Other District 3 numbers include nearly 16,000 vehicle traffic stops and more than 11,000 citations, including 5,800 for speeding and 1,300 for wearing seatbelts, Devault said. In addition, he said 120 impaired drivers were arrested and 503 accidents occurred. As we move into 2023, Devault said they want to continue to emphasize the importance of putting driving first.

“Whether it’s their thoughts or actions that might be inappropriate, like making a phone call, all of these things can help really change their life, their family’s life, or other people’s or family’s if they choose not to be fully concerned. Live them behind the wheel,” Devault said. “We’re just seeing a lot of accidents that are really preventable.”

They also plan to continue using educational tools such as Patrol’s “Seat Belt Persuader,” which simulates a 10-mph crash, and law enforcement programs like the High Five Rural Traffic Safety Project, which focuses on increasing seat belt usage, Devault added. .

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