NOVEMBER 10, 2022

DES MOINES, Iowa - The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 over a three day harvest festival.  Thanksgiving today means getting together with family and friends, watching football and eating a big turkey dinner.  Millions of Americans will hit the roads to gather and celebrate Thanksgiving, and this may mean more crashes.  Let’s keep the traditions alive by remembering simple facts about safe driving.  

From November 15 - 28, 2022, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau is partnering with law enforcement across Iowa to enforce the traffic laws and remind drivers that safe driving is an easy way to keep the Thanksgiving traditions alive.

•    Safe driving should take place as your 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.
•    Distracted driving is one of the fastest growing safety issues on the roads today.  Be attentive and put the phone down.
•    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 lives. 
•    Driving impaired is costly and can be deadly. In 2020, one person was killed every 45 minutes in a drunk-driving crash on our nation’s roads.  Rideshare, taking the keys, or even better, planning ahead can prevent impaired driving and still allow everyone to have a good time.  
•    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.
•    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. 
•    In 2021, there were 707 crashes and 33 deaths on Iowa roadways where exceeding the speed limit was determined to be the cause.  Speed is something we can all control.  Obey the speed limit to save lives.

During peak Thanksgiving travel times in Iowa, between November 15, 2021 and November 28, 2021, 11 people lost their lives on Iowa’s roadways. Even one life lost is one too many.


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