State surpasses 300 traffic deaths in 2022, missing goal

Fatal car crash
Fatal car crash(Credit: MGN)
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 8:44 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - More than 300 people have died on Iowa’s roadways, according to the latest data from state officials.

Through Friday, Nov. 18, 302 people were killed in traffic incidents, which is higher than the five-year average to date of 289. However, it is 10 fewer fatalities than 2021 recorded through the same date.

Iowa has seen a slow but steady increase in roadway fatalities over the past four years, from a recent low total of 319 in 2018. Overall deaths have fallen significantly since the 1980s and 1990s, despite a growing population statewide. The largest number of people killed in traffic incidents was 912 in 1970, according to television station KCCI.

Traffic deaths in Iowa via year.
Traffic deaths in Iowa via year.(KCRG)

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau sets an overall goal of zero traffic deaths each year, but has recently set a more attainable sub-goal of limiting them to 300.

Over two-thirds of traffic deaths in the state occur in rural areas, according to the data. About 44% of the people killed are not wearing a seatbelt in a vehicle that has them when the crash occurs.