Here’s a switch. The heavy snows Iowa received during December actually -helped- motorists, according to Scott Falb, a traffic safety specialist at the Iowa Department of Transportation. Falb says the snow made roads harder to drive on but also provided for softer landings during wrecks.Although the totals aren’t official yet, Falb says it appears about 40 fewer people died on Iowa’s roads during the year 2000. A preliminary D-O-T report says traffic deaths fell about seven percent to about 450 in 2000, a drop from about 490 the previous year. The number of truck fatalities went from 108 last year to 79 this year.Falb says the number of fatal crashes in work zones also took a big dip — falling from 17 in 1999 to just six last year. He says the month of December is a “swing” month when it comes to traffic deaths in Iowa. Last year there were 56 fatalities, the highest in several years. The state averages 43 traffic deaths in December.Of all the crashes during 2000, Falb says 30 of them involved motorcycles, two involved bicycles and 17 of the victims were pedestrians.