Roadside Chat – Whole World in Your Hand? Put the Phone Down!

6-7-whole-worldTechnology has allowed us to connect to a world of information and people from around the globe right from the palm of our hands. But just because you CAN connect doesn’t mean you always should. One of those times when you should leave your phone tucked away is when you are behind the wheel of your vehicle.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 3,308 people lost their lives in 2022 due to crashes involving distracted drivers. Unfortunately, due to distraction primarily needing to be self-reported, we know that number is sorely underreported.

What can you do to help reduce distraction on our roadways?

  1. When you are driving, place your phone on silent and set it somewhere out of reach so it’s not a temptation. You can also use your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” mode or an app that works to prevent texting while your vehicle is in motion.
  2. If you are in the car with someone who is distracted behind the wheel say something. Do what you can to help remove that distraction by offering to send or read their text, change the radio station, or calm the other passengers in the vehicle with you.
  3. Lead by example. Whether you are a parent, child, co-worker, or friend people often mirror the behavior they think is acceptable to other people. Make sure you are reflecting safe driving habits.

Distracted driving includes way more than just your phone. Check out this video from Ohio that gives a fuller picture of what counts as distraction behind the wheel

In 2024 in Iowa, 111 people have been killed in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of eight since last Friday. In Iowa in 2023, there were 377 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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