Distracted driving continues to be a problem, but in certain states like Iowa, it has been responsible for a great deal more of traffic fatalities this past year.
According to a series of news reports, the number of people killed or injured in traffic crashes caused by distracted driving in Iowa in 2015 doubled from the previous year.
In 2015, fourteen people were killed in these types of crashes while in 2014, only seven had the same fate. The state’s Department of Transportation has also claimed that in 2014, 270 people were injured in distracted driving crashes, while 601 were injured in 2015. There were 1,1000 crashes tied to distracted driving in Iowa in 2015 overall, officials report.
Needless to say that state officials are concerned about these numbers since they represent a sharp increase in distracted driving crashes across the state. And unless officials and local communities act now, the trend will only grow, as the number of smartphone users also grows across the country.
According to local officials, one of the main factors behind the increase in the number of distracted driving crash cases is the use of cell phones. They concluded that any use of cell phones behind the wheel is dangerous but that the use for texting purposes is even more so since it requires more concentration.
Many studies in the past have confirmed that cognitive distractions can be dangerous. Since drivers using voice to text technology are also splitting their focus between driving and dictating a piece of text. Due to this split, drivers are often oblivious of pedestrians and other potential emergencies in their surroundings. Unless drivers are 100 percent focused on the act of driving and the road ahead, the risk of accidents increases.
As lawmakers in the region work to change laws in order to make sure texting and driving is a primary offense, officers urge drivers to put safety first by putting your phone away and focusing on the road ahead.
Regardless of where you are in the country and what the laws in your state say, distracted driving is dangerous and potentially deadly.
If you’re serious about your safety, about keeping your loved ones safe, and about helping others to keep the road safe, you will think twice before reaching out to your phone next time you’re behind the wheel. And if you’re a parent, remember that leading by example is the best way to teach your children to be responsible drivers.
For more on the increasing number of distracted driving crashes in some states, follow this link for more reports.