August was the deadliest month on Iowa’s roadways in more than three years. Senior Trooper Mark Domino, of the Iowa State Patrol’s Mason City post, says 50 people died on Iowa highways in August. He says August of 2010 is the state’s deadliest month since July of 2007 when 51 people were killed in traffic accidents.

Domino says a number of factors contributed to the increase in traffic fatalities, including: speed, alcohol, distracted driving and falling asleep behind the wheel. He says drivers need to make sure they are 100% ready to drive, including being well-rested and knowing the route they’ll be taking. He also says people need to pay attention to what’s happening in front of them and be prepared to stop with a proper following distance.

Domino says some simple thinking can help prevent accidents. He says to take breaks while driving, wear your seat belt and don’t drink and drive. Domino says what originally looked like a record-setting year for the fewest fatalities on Iowa’s roads has been marred by a bad month in August.

He says 2009 had the lowest number of fatalities with 273. After August, the state is about five off of last year’s mark for the entire year, and he hopes Labor Day weekend won’t push 2010 over 2009’s total. Domino says residents will need to remember to drive cautiously around construction zones, especially during the holiday weekend.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City