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Iowa does not rank well in terms of safety

Midwestern values, a solid educational system and the strength of the health care system in Iowa are often included as reasons why people enjoy the Hawkeye State. US News ranks Iowa as the sixth best state to live based upon an evaluation of more than 60 different metrics. CNN recently ranked Iowa in the top for among the states for raising children.

Iowa gets low grades for overall safety

However, as a part of National Safety Month, the National Safety Council issued each state a report card that focused exclusively on overall safety. No state in the nation received an “A.” And Iowa did not rank well, taking 39th place and receiving “D” for overall safety. As far as road safety goes, Iowa took 37th place in the nation – earning a “D” for our efforts, or lack of efforts, to keep motorists safe on the road.

The data and report are provided to raise awareness about the types of issues that local residents, civic leaders and lawmakers throughout the country may need to consider to increase safety. In addition to road safety, the report provides data on home safety –covering such issues as slip-and-fall accidents (especially among seniors), accidental poisonings, drowning, sports-related youth injuries and other issues that occur on private property and in homes. In this area, Iowa received an “F” on the report card. The last section focused on workplace safety – here again Iowa did not fare well, earning a “D”.

In the area of road safety, The NSC notes that road fatalities have been on the decline nationwide in recent years. However, more than 40,000 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in 2016—raising new concerns about road safety in our modern times.

Common safety issues that could see improvement

Distracted driving, drunk driving and speeding were noted as preventable problems that have lead to the largest spike in injuries and fatalities in car accidents in the past 50 years. The NSC also highlights that driver fatigue is an emerging issue. Only a small number of states have laws governing drowsy driving. The National Transportation Safety Board cited fatigued and drowsy driving as topics that should be included on the radar for improving road safety.

Despite increased safety measures in the automotive industry over the past few generations, car accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle wrecks remain a real concern. The NSC says that Iowa is off-track in four of the top eight road safety metrics. The council says that Iowa needs significant improvement in child passenger safety, seat belt use, teen drivers and vulnerable road user issues. The vulnerable category includes motorcyclists, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.

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