Study says Iowa is the second most dangerous state for Thanksgiving drivers: Here’s why that isn’t the case
This statement comes from a study that compared Iowa’s number of traffic fatalities on Thanksgiving to any other day in November.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - You might have heard the headlines that Iowa ranked second on a list of the most dangerous states for Thanksgiving drivers. This statement comes from a study by Ohio-based personal injury attorney John Fitch, that compared Iowa’s number of traffic fatalities on Thanksgiving to any other day in November.
It cited a 407% increase in traffic-related deaths. And technically, that percentage is correct, but it’s misleading.
“I do believe that stat that I looked at, that report, is skewed. I think it maybe is to get people to think about it.” said Iowa State Trooper Bob Conrad,
Because Iowa is a rural, lower-population state, we average about one traffic fatality a day. So any more than that reflects a huge percentage increase.
“Iowa is a fairly safe state. When I think about driving, I think about the crashes we see, I look at other states where their fatality rates are over a thousand people a year, and we’re in that 300 plus mark.” said Conrad.
But it’s true that Iowa does see more crashes in the days surrounding Thanksgiving.
“When you look at a holiday and have a lot more cars out there, there are times where we will have two, 3, even upwards of six crashes that may result in fatality on that day.” said Conrad.
Iowa has a total 41 traffic fatalities around the holiday in the last decade. But to put that into perspective nationally, Texas has more than that in a single year around Thanksgiving.
So, even the study is misleading, Trooper Conrad hopes that headlines like that will keep drivers cautious.
“If it actually makes people driver safer and worry about it a little more and get to where they need to go safely, I guess that’s not all bad.” said Conrad.
Thanksgiving drivers can reduce their risk of crashing by following the speed limit, not getting distracted by their phone or other people in the car, and driving sober.
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