TEXT TEST: Exposing Distractions
Clive – On July 1st, Iowa’s ban on texting while driving will turn one year old. To illustrate the dangers of distracted driving, Clive first-responders set up an exercise involving a cell phone, an obstacle course, and a golf cart.
“If you do text and drive,” said Assistant Chief in charge of EMS Brian Helland, “You’re about 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash, than if you’re not distracted driving.” To prove it, Helland and Assistant Chief Doug Lyons put Channel 13’s Dan Winters to the test. Winters was asked to text while driving the golf cart through the course… which he failed… miserably. Not only was the text unreadable, the cart kept veering outside of the lines.
Helland said that there are many devices that are just as distracting as cell phones. He said, “Distracted driving contributes to 60-to-80% of the crashes we see.”
When asked by Channel 13 News, Iowa State Senator Jack Whitver said that it’s unlikely legislators will move to expand the texting and driving law, unless they can see data on what impact the current law has had on public safety.