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Tornadoes and Ice: Fatalities in Iowa in the winter and spring

Although summer months are on the horizon, Iowa still can suffer from bouts of icy roads. Dew on early mornings along with chilly temperatures that just may reach freezing on some days could lead to some slick patches on the roadways. Keeping safe in these conditions is important, which is why salting the roads is important for states where ice can be an issue. It's not as common to see this taking place in the spring, though, and proving ice was part of an accident can be difficult.

In the 2009-2010 winter season, there were 20 deaths in Iowa due to icy roads. While there is little information on spring accidents from ice, there is information on tornado-based fatalities on the roads. For example, did you know that there were six fatalities from Tornadoes between 2008 and 2009 just in Iowa alone? Interestingly, these super-cell storms can drop hail and sleet, so even summer months could be visited by patches of ice during dramatic weather changes.

Iowa is the third of the top ten states for icy road conditions according to 2010 calculations. It is only beat out by Pennsylvania with 26 fatalities and Nebraska and Missouri, which tied for second with 23 deaths in each state.

You can't force drivers to stay off the roads in the winter and spring months when these conditions are found, but being diligent may be able to keep you safe. Avoid traveling during storms and when ice is likely to be on the roads; don't drive in hail, and try to pull over if heavy winds and sleet start during a thunderstorm in the spring.

Source: Icy Road Safety, "Icy Road Fatality Statistics," accessed May. 12, 2015

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