DES MOINES – So far this year, 110 people have died in Iowa car crashes. This is the highest number in the past five years. With millions of drivers hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend, it is more important than ever that people drive safe.

Sergeant Alex Dinkla of the Iowa State Patrol said that this weekend the Iowa State Patrol will be on guard to enforce traffic laws.

“We’re going to be out there in full force. We’re going to be out there keeping Iowans safe, keeping motorists safe, but we also want to give the message we can’t do this alone,” Sgt. Dinkla said. “So we need other people to realize what are they doing, what are you doing to keep yourself safe because at the end of the day we want to make it home safe and we know that you want to make it home safe to your families as well.”

The Iowa State Patrol and Department of Transportation do their best to make the roads safe, but ultimately it’s those behind the wheel that have the most agency.

Steve Gent with the Iowa Department of Transportation said that drivers need to take responsibility to ensure the safety of themselves and others on the road.

“What it really comes down to having you and your family be safe, that’s really up to the driver at this point right? And that’s really what we need drivers to be thinking about and aware of because driving is most likely the most dangerous thing any of us do any day. And we don’t think about it because we drive all the time right and we don’t get in a crash so we don’t expect to,” Gent said.

Of the 110 traffic deaths this year, nearly half were not wearing a seatbelt. Around 30% of the fatal crashes had drivers that were impaired by drugs and alcohol.

Drinking responsibly, driving the speed limit, and wearing a seatbelt are all critical to reducing traffic deaths in the state of Iowa.