Rise in Iowa highway deaths associated with increased speed limit

In 2005, the state of Iowa raised the speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph for rural highways, and this increase is believed to have caused a rise in the state’s highway deaths.

Since the change in speed was approved, traffic-related fatalities on highways in Iowa increased by 10 percent. The Department of Transportation reveals that between 2005 and 2011, 250 fatalities occurred on the rural highway system in Iowa. During the six years prior to the speed limit change, there were 227 deaths recorded on those same highways.

These traffic deaths are largely associated with drivers losing control of their vehicles, or traveling at excessive speeds on difficult road conditions. Both of those concerns can be tied to the speed limit.

If a reckless driver has caused you to suffer injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. Please contact the reckless driving accident lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. by calling 877-327-2600 today.

Reckless driver has record of traffic violations

The 46-year-old Norwalk man responsible for the reckless driving crash last Thursday that killed two children and left their mother and another child in critical condition has an extensive record of previous traffic accidents, according to court documents.

Police records show the man has been charged more than a dozen times. Previous charges include speeding, reckless driving, failure to maintain control, and leaving the scene of an injury accident.

The man was driving his pickup truck in Ankeny when he failed to stop at a stop sign, smashing into an oncoming minivan carrying a woman and her three children.

Two of the children, aged 5 years old and 5 months old, died in hospital care. The mother and remaining 3-year-old child remain in intensive care.

The 46-year-old man was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Iowa ranks near bottom in teen driving safety

Iowa ranked 49th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in a recent U.S. News & World Report investigation of national teen driving safety.

The rankings were determined using a number of variables, five of which were based on driver’s license, car accident fatality, and road-quality statistics gathered by the federal government and six of which were based on ratings of driving and road safety laws compiled by two independent organizations.

“A lot of the criteria has to do with graduated driving licensing,” said a spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Transportation, Dena M. Gray-Fisher.

The graduated driver’s license (GDL) law, which Iowa passed in 1999, requires supervision and training hours for young drivers. Restrictions are gradually lifted on when and with whom they may drive as they become more skilled drivers.

While teens and young adults in Iowa represent only 17 percent of drivers, over 40 percent of crashes involve them.

“Iowa has had a tendency to have relatively weak teen driving policy,” said Corinne Peek-Asa, director of the University of Iowa’s Injury Prevention Research Center.

Gov. Chet Culver signed into law a bill April 28 that makes it required for those under the age of 17 in the back seat to wear a seat belt, and on July 1, a ban on teenage cell phone use while driving will go into effect.

Some teen drivers are responsible and mature. Many others are not, either due to technological distractions (phones), bad decisions (drinking and driving), or a physiological inclination to incorrectly assess threats. If you or someone you know has been injured by a reckless teen driver, contact the Iowa reckless driving accident attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C., at 877-327-2600.

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