Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Nate Ludwig says troopers investigated a total of 82 crashes and arrested 16 drivers for OWI. He’s encouraging motorists to alter their driving habits in foul weather, as many of the crashes over the holiday were caused by drivers traveling too fast for the rainy conditions.
“Slowing down is the big key and then probably even bigger than that is just giving yourself enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you,” Ludwig says. “Your stopping distance is going to increase with the rain and you’re not going to be able to adjust with the visibility.” Ludwig adds, when it’s raining, all drivers should turn on their headlights to help other motorists see their vehicle.
“One of the myths that we have in Iowa is you have to have your headlights on when it’s raining. That is not the law, but it is a courtesy,” Ludwig says. “The only law about headlights is they have to be on from sunset to sun up or when you can’t see 500 feet in front of you. So, it’s not a law, but it is a very good idea when it is raining to just turn your headlights on.”
A year ago, 10 people died in traffic crashes in Iowa over the Labor Day weekend. This year, the five deaths included a triple-fatality crash Sunday on Interstate 29 near the town of Little Sioux.