Roadside Chat - Why tempt fate? That text can wait.

10-13 why tempt fateDo you feel lucky? Every time you pick up your phone when you’re driving, you’re rolling the dice with your own life and the lives of those on the road with you.

Research by Texas A&M Transportation Institute notes that texting doubles your reaction time, which means you respond more slowly in an emergency. The research consisted of drivers maneuvering around a test track, once without texting and then again while texting while measuring reaction time to lights on the course.


In addition to slower reaction times, the study goes on to say, “Worse yet, drivers were more than 11 times more likely to miss the flashing light altogether when they were texting. The researchers say that the study findings extend to other driving distractions that involve reading or writing, such as checking e-mail or social media.”

How big of a problem is distracted driving? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that 3,522 lives were lost due to crashes with distracted drivers in the United States in 2021. An additional 262,415 people were injured in crashes where distraction was a factor.

It’s just a quick text…

So far this year in Iowa, 292 people have been killed in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of 10 since last Friday. In Iowa in 2022, there were 338 traffic-related deaths. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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