Des Moines, Iowa (AP) – Transportation officials say there has been a spike in traffic fatalities in Iowa this year.
Data from the Iowa Department of Transportation show at least 238 traffic fatalities recorded in the state between the start of the year and the middle of August. There were 182 traffic fatalities during the same period last year.
Steve Gent, the department’s director of traffic and safety, says there’s been an increase in fatalities nearly every month of 2016. There’s no specific reason for the jump, though Gent notes more people are driving Iowa roads in part because the price of gasoline has decreased in recent years.
There have been roughly 320 traffic fatalities every year in Iowa between 2013 and 2015. Gent says the department expects this year’s final tally to top that.