Nebraska experienced one of the lowest highway fatality rates on record last year, but traffic deaths have risen in 2012.
As of Thursday, the highway death toll stands at 205 compared with 180 in 2011. The most significant increase occurred on county roads in rural areas where fatalities have risen 51 percent. Last year, 41 deaths were reported on county roads in rural areas through December 27, 2011 compared to 62 deaths reported so far this year.
Many of the deaths were drivers or passengers not wearing seat belts who were ejected from their vehicle during a rollover crash.
As of Monday, Iowa reported 357 traffic deaths in 2012. In 2011, 360 people died in in vehicle accidents.