Message Monday - Don't cell your life short

10-8 message mondayWhether it’s a feeling of obligation to answer texts immediately or a fear of missing out on the greatest new cat video on Facebook, just one trip on any road in Iowa will tell you people are using cell phones consistently behind the wheel, even when it’s against the law to do so.

Every day in the United States, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in motor vehicle crashes linked to distracted driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

So how do we change behavior to make distracted driving unacceptable?

1 – Lead by example. If each parent would simply stow the phone while driving, we wouldn’t be telling our kids it is OK to drive distracted.

2 – Call your friends and family out. If you’re in a vehicle and the driver is messing with a phone, make your feelings known that you’re not willing to be put in danger for a text or social media post.

3 – Don’t tempt the driver. If you know a friend or family member will be driving don’t text or call them until you know they are no longer behind the wheel.

It’s going to take time and effort, but we’ve proven that it can be done. Remember when nobody wore seat belts or thought twice about driving drunk?

What can you do?

For 2018, there have been 239 fatalities reported. That’s an increase of four since last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

I drove through Iowa on Monday October 8th and saw your "Don't cell your life short" message and was so greatly impressed by this message. I wanted to call the person or persons that came up with this message and thank them for such a innovative message. I do not have a phone that would distract me when I'm driving, but really see the importance of this message for others on the road. Thank you for producing this important message for all drivers!

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