Two people died when their car left Highway 6 and ended up in a pond in Iowa County Sunday morning. The victims, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, were the only two fatalities on Iowa roads over the Memorial Day weekend.
Scott Falb, with the Iowa Department of Transportation, says there have been fewer deadly crashes this year – compared to the same time last year. "We’re down seven as of today from where we were last year," Falb says, "and last year was down 11 from 2005, which is our high year for about the last six years."
Falb credits increased seat belt usage for the drop in traffic deaths. "Certainly the fact that we’re up to 90-percent seat belt usage is helping in this quite a bit," Falb says. Falb says increasing seat belt use even further could dramatically decrease the number of fatality accidents.
"Everytime we push seat belt numbers up, we cut into the group that is most likely to have a crash," Falb explains, "because as you get into 75 or 80 or 90 percent, you’re getting into that percentage of people that are most likely to have crashes." Last year, three people died in Iowa traffic accidents over the Memorial Day weekend.