It's time to "Curb it - Click it."
Texting while driving poses significant risksAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction occurring within three seconds before the vehicle crash.
Text messaging while driving is a dangerous habit. Drivers who engage in texting spend about 400 percent more time taking their eyes off the road and are 70 percent less likely to stay in their lane. Whatever it is, it can wait. Curb it-Click it.
Seat belts save livesSeat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury, according to the NHTSA. Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent.
Your chances of surviving a crash are up to 70 percent better if you are wearing a seat belt. So, Curb it-Click it.
Young drivers are at greatest riskYoung, inexperienced drivers have the highest proportion of fatal crashes. Their lack of driving experience can contribute to critical misjudgments, especially if they become distracted. Yet teens text more than any other age group. Unbelted, the consequences of being involved in a crash can be deadly. Yet teens are most likely to be unbelted.
Iowa laws aimed at saving livesTexting while driving and not wearing a seat belt are arguably some of the most risky driving behaviors. That is why Iowa Governor Culver and members of the legislature took action earlier this year to enact laws that:
- Prohibit teen drivers with restricted driver's licenses from using any electronic communication device or electronic entertainment device while driving.
- Prohibit texting while driving by all drivers.
- Require all persons under age 18 to wear a seat belt, safety harness or safety restraint system while driving or riding in a motor vehicle.
Everyone has a roleWe all have a role to play in saving lives and preventing injuries. We must focus our attention on driving and buckle up, and set a good example for our children, friends and community.
Leading the wayThe Iowa Department of Transportation and Iowa Department of Public Safety are leading the effort to remind Iowans that the price for not paying attention to the road or wearing your seat belt is too high.
We are also joining forces to foster compliance with the new safety laws requiring use of safety restraints, prohibiting texting while driving, and prohibiting use of all electronic communication and entertainment devices by teens while driving.