WEST DES MOINES, IA (May 28, 2019) – Governor Kim Reynolds has declared May 27-31 “End Distracted Driving Week in Iowa,” joining the efforts of Farm Bureau Financial Services and the Iowa State Patrol to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to promote safe driving behaviors across the state. An official proclamation signing took place at the State Capitol on May 28.

According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, in 2018 there were 1,090 total reported crashes caused by distracted driving including 9 fatalities. Compared to statistics from 2001, crashes related to distracted driving have doubled in the state.

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer with warmer weather, sunnier skies, and vacations across the country, and as the number of travelers on the road increases, so do the amount of traffic accidents. More fatal crashes happen over the summer compared to fall months according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s latest data.

“Through our collaboration with the Iowa State Patrol we continue to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. With crashes and fatalities resulting from distracted driving on the rise, educating Iowans about smart choices that help make our roads safer is important. We hope this proclamation signed by the Governor will remind Iowans that we each have the responsibility to stay alert while behind the wheel,” said Nancy Wiles, Marketing Communications Vice President, Farm Bureau Financial Services.

As part of their efforts, Farm Bureau Financial Services and the Iowa State Patrol have released the first two videos as part of the series, “Drive Smart with Sgt. Ludwig,” educating Iowans about ways to stay safe while behind the wheel. State Trooper Sgt. Ludwig stresses the importance of these safe-driving habits, as he has seen the damaging consequences that come as a result of distracted driving.

“The safety of Iowa drivers is our top priority,” said Sgt. Ludwig. “Educating the public on the real dangers of distracted driving and informing motorists about better, safer practices is an important step in making Iowa roads as safe as possible.”

Iowa drivers are encouraged to take a Safe Driving Quiz and commit to the Safe Driving Pledge with Farm Bureau as well.