November 19, 2021

Des Moines, Iowa - Thanksgiving weekend, millions of Americans will hit the roads, eager to spend time with family and friends.  It is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and unfortunately, that may mean more crashes.  It important to remember the ABC’s of safe driving!

ALWAYS means every time.  Every driver should, without fail, buckle up, driver sober and follow all the rules of the road……every trip, EVERY TIME!  Using your safety belt and driving sober are two simple tasks drivers can do to save time, lives and money. 
BE means to take place.  Safe driving should TAKE PLACE as our first and only priority when behind the wheel.  Driving is a full time job which requires every driver’s complete attention.  Driving distracted can lead to deadly consequences.
CAREFUL means watchful.  Drivers should consistently be WATCHFUL of unsafe drivers and their surroundings.  Being a defensive driver will allow you to react to avoid crashes, dangerous situations and can save you money and more importantly, your life.  

•    When you wear your seatbelt as a front-seat occupant of a passenger car, your risk of fatal injury goes down by 45%.  Seatbelts save lives!
•    Distracted driving is one of the fastest growing safety issues on the roads today.  In 2020 in Iowa, there were 945 crashes and 4 deaths due to drivers distracted by the use of the phone or other electronic device.  Be attentive and put the phone down.  
•    In 2020 in Iowa, there were 669 crashes and 30 deaths in which exceeding the speed limit was the cause.  Speed is something we can all control.  Obey the speed limit to save lives!
•    Driving impaired is costly and can be deadly.  There were 51 deaths and 1,383 crashes in Iowa in 2020 due to alcohol impaired driving.  Rideshare, taking the keys or even better, planning ahead can prevent impaired driving and still allow everyone to have a good time.  
In Iowa between November 15, 2020 and November 28, 2020, thirteen people lost their lives on Iowa’s roadways and during the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday, three people were killed on Iowa’s roadways.  Even one life lost is too many!  During this campaign which will take place from November 15-28, 2021, law enforcement across Iowa will be enforcing the traffic laws and reminding drivers that safe driving is as simple as ABC…ALWAYS BE CAREFUL! 

Sources: NHTSA & Iowa Department of Public Safety

Always Be Careful and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Media contact: Amanda Woods, Program Administrator (515) 725-6127.


The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.

Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 E 7th St
Des Moines IA 50319