Knowing what driving behaviors need to change is a precursor to being able to decrease fatalities and major injuries on Iowa’s roadways. Approximately 90 percent of crashes are behavior related for all age groups. Crashes by teens are often due to in experience. Conversely, mature drivers often take risks that result in a crash because they don’t understand the impact and consequences of those risks. Therefore, the primary role of the Zero Fatalities program is devoted to educating drivers, whether experienced or inexperienced.
Iowa’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a statewide-coordinated safety plan that provides a comprehensive framework for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. The SHSP establishes statewide objectives and key emphasis areas developed in consultation with federal, state, local, and private sector safety stakeholders.
Roadside Chat refers to the Iowa Department of Transportation use of it’s wide network of dynamic message boards on state highways to display safety messages and the current highway fatality county. The program, which originally ran on Mondays, was launched as Message Mondays on Aug. 5, 2013.
By regularly posting the potential impacts of risky driving behaviors on dynamic message signs across Iowa we have provided added motivation to drive safely, as well as succinct tips. Learn more about Roadside Chat.
While we are working hard to make the “worst case scenario” extinct, when it does happen we want to be prepared. Medical advancements help improve medical efforts to prevent fatalities. Other technological advancements help to improve response times and responders can help to prevent secondary crashes.
This is where the Traumahawk App can play a critical role in saving lives.
The TraumaHawk App enables first responders to sends photos from the scene of a motor vehicle crash to providers at hospital emergency rooms long before arrival at the hospital. This app will help to:
Enforcement remains vital in ensuring drivers adhere to the rules of the road. Enforcement is comprised of state, county, municipal law, and highway safety who run regular patrols and mobilization efforts focusing on specific behaviors such as drinking and driving or seat belt usage.
The Click It or Ticket enforcement campaigns help to remind the motoring public to buckle up. During specified timeframes Iowa law enforcement agencies crack down on seat belt violations in an effort to save lives and reduce serious injury crashes statewide. These high visibility enforcement tactics are also used to deter high-risk driving behavior.
We meet with larger traffic safety groups at conferences, such as the Governor’s Transportation Safety Bureau Conference and the Driver's Education Conference, to educate audiences about the Zero Fatalities goal and the five behavioral areas. We persuade them to integrate the Zero Fatalities messaging within their efforts.
We want to make it as easy as possible to drive safe in Iowa. As such, we research, design and implement many different roadway safety advancements. Whether it is effective and consistent signage, improved intersections or even advanced roadway technology and tools for vehicles and pedestrians, we are always looking for ways to improve safety, and ultimately save lives on Iowa’s roads. Extra attention has been given recently to improving safety for this issue.
By placing cable barriers in medians of divided highways, we’ve been able to prevent many cross median crashes. The barriers shields oncoming traffic from lane departure, lessening the severity of these kind of crashing. These cable barriers are also more forgiving than concrete (Jersey) or steel barriers, and allow the impact energy to be dispersed laterally. While these cross median crashes are some of the most dangerous, cable barriers help prevent and lessen the danger.
Rumble strips are also paramount to prevent lane departures. By placing the strips along the center line of the road and on the edge line of the road, it adds an extra warning to drivers before they cross lanes and potentially cause a crash.