The year is young, but the seven traffic-related deaths in Iowa through Jan. 10 is two more than than five-year average — up 40%, the Iowa Department of Transportation reported.
The DOT’s Monday newsletter noted that this can be a particularly dangerous time of year to drive, and not just because of the snow and ice. When drivers get up in the dark to start their day, their bodies don’t get the message that it’s show time and they should be awake.
The same thing happens when it’s dark when they commute home at the end of the work day. You can try the 32-ounce soda or big jug of coffee method of staying awake, but that is a short-term fix, DOT reports. The experts say getting enough sleep is your best defense, DOT reported.
Though reports are still under review, the 2019 traffic fatality total for Iowa now stands at 336, the second-highest since 2015. The total for 2016 was highest, at 402. In 2018, the total was 319.
The state has a program that states its goal in the title: “Zero fatalities: A goal we can all live with.”
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