DES MOINES, Iowa — The leading cause of death for young people ages 14-20 is a car crash, according to UnityPoint Health.
In response to those numbers, UnityPoint and AAA Insurance are trying to get the word out with a program called One Second.
They teach young drivers that anything can happen in a matter of seconds.
“It just takes a second and that’s the beauty of it. It’s kind of like fastening your seatbelt. It just takes one second. When you look down at your phone and look back up, a lot happens in that one second. Five seconds at 55 miles per hour, you are able to go the distance of a football field,” Brian Feist with UnityPoint Health said.
Sgt. Scott Bright said anyone under the age of 18 was already not allowed to have their phone while driving, but people over 18 can use their phone to make calls and as a GPS, while driving
The new law, which states anyone can be pulled over on the suspicion of texting and driving, started on July 1.
“When somebody is texting they are usually looking down and when they are looking down they are taking their eyes off the roadway. Then they will start to veer to the left, veer to the right or go off the shoulder. So we look for signs like that,” Bright said.
You can be fined up to $100 for texting and driving.
Even officers can get distracted by everything they have going on in their car.
Bright says they do have rules in place.
“We have to set the example. If somebody sees us working on a laptop computer going down the interstate, that’s a violation for our department policy. We have a cell phone policy we have to abide by. So we get a lot of complaints saying ‘we see troopers going down the interstate working on their laptop computers.’ Basically that’s against our policy,” Bright said.
There are several ways to minimize the temptation to use your phone while you drive:
- Bags you can put your phone in that block notifications
- Put your phone on airplane mode
- Put your phone on do not disturb
- Turn off your phone