DES MOINES, IOWA — The Iowa Department of Transportation reports that 40 Iowans were killed on the roads last month, making it the deadliest month of May in five years. As of Wednesday afternoon, the DOT lists 114 Iowans killed in traffic incidents to date this year – exactly on par with the five-year average.
The state saw a decline in traffic fatalities one year ago as the pandemic took hold nationwide. However those numbers began climbing rapidly as the state reopened and have continued to increase.
Ames Police say there were around 800 traffic accidents in the city in 2020. 20% of those incidents involved distracted or inattentive drivers. Police say cell phones are often to blame, but so are four-legged passengers.
“(Drivers) look down at the dog and the light was green. When they looked up the light was red and they into the intersection and t-boned another car,” Sergeant Mike Arkovich of the Ames PD said about the potential dangers of driving with dogs.