The Hawkeye State ranks toward the top of a new national survey on highway safety — but officials say there’s still room for improvement. About 78-percent of Iowans use their seatbelts, helping earn Iowa a “B-minus” according to Chuck Hurley of the National Safety Council.Hurley is executive director of the Airbag and Seatbelt Safety Campaign of the National Safety Council. California was the only state to get an “A” on the survey, while New Mexico and the District of Columbia had “A-minuses.” Seven other states got “B’s” or “B-pluses” while Washington, Texas and New Jersey also had “B-minuses” with Iowa. In all, 19 states had “D’s” or “F’s.” Hurley says Iowa needs to work harder on getting people belted in.The survey weighed factors including: seat belt use, strength of restraint laws, fatality rates and law enforcement participation in seat belt enforcement programs.Eight states got “F’s” for high fatality rates and for having seat belt usage of 47 and 48-percent: New Hampshire, Arkansas, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota.
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