Message Monday

Don’t cell your life short

Whether 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

October 8, 2018