TRANSPORTATION MATTERS for IOWA

Message Monday - Don't let your last words be in a text


4-10 message mondayApril is known for lots of things, including a concerted effort to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Every year the National Safety Council mounts a campaign to call employers’ attention to the dangers of distracted driving, but you don’t have to be a boss to get behind the effort.

Getting accurate data on exactly how many people are injured or killed by distracted drivers is not easy. Even when texting is suspected as a cause in a crash, law enforcement sometimes doesn’t report it or they may be restricted from checking the offending driver’s phone to verify.

Iowa’s current crash report form has been updated to allow law enforcement to check one of several different boxes if they suspect a crash was caused by distracted driving. These include driver distraction caused by adjusting the radio, using an electronic device or becoming distracted by a passenger. Those distracted driving categories added up to 10 deaths in 2016, a number that is likely grossly underreported. It is thought that distraction also played a part in the deaths of 53 people who were reported to have died from losing control of a vehicle or another 20 who law enforcement attributed the crash to reckless driving.

What are the dangers in not knowing how large this problem is? Check it out yourself - http://www.nsc.org/DistractedDrivingDocuments/NSC-Under-Reporting-White-Paper.pdf

The fatality count of 68 is an increase of six since last Monday. Preliminary number show that in all of 2016, 404 people were killed on Iowa highways. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality count

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