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Iowa State Patrol reports spike in traffic fatalities since pandemic

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 4:59 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Father’s Day is a time to celebrate, but it’s also one of the deadliest days on the road. According to a study by American Auto Insurance, Father’s Day ranks in the top five deadliest holidays for fatal traffic accidents. The Iowa State Patrol says they’ve seen a dramatic spike in collisions since the pandemic.

“Father’s Day should be a great celebration time and you don’t want to be worrying about the sorrow of a crash that shouldn’t have happened,” says Pat Hoye, Bureau Chief with the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s traffic safety bureau.

The department reports the most traffic fatalities in the state between Memorial Day and Labor Day. With schools out and COVID winding down, more drivers are out on the roads and many speeding.

“Just in the last few months our speeds have been dramatically up here in Iowa. Our speeds over one hundred miles per hour this year are thirty percent higher than the five year average. Those over one hundred miles per hour and those twenty five over the posted speed limit,” says Brian Votroubek, a lieutenant with the Iowa State Patrol.

According to Iowa’s traffic safety bureau, over ninety traffic fatalities were reported in the state between July and August of 2020.

“Because there were so many less cars on the road in 2020, we thought for sure there would be a reduction in fatalities and sadly it didn’t, we actually saw an increase from 2019,” says Hoye.

The bureau says Iowa is already up twenty eight fatalities from where the state was a year ago.

“Speeding is still the number one contributing factor to crashes in the state of Iowa. Last year we saw a large increase in high speeds, those that are over one hundred miles per hour. State patrol reported some of the highest numbers they had seen in decades,” Hoye says.

The Iowa State Patrol says more officers will be working on weekends throughout the summer.

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