The Iowa Department of Transportation announced that in 2016 the number of deaths on Iowa Roads increased to over 400, after several years of steady decline. "The scary thing for us is, as you take a look, Iowa really had been trending the right way and then 2016 comes along." Patrick Hoye, the Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau Chief told the Cedar Rapids Gazette. While it is difficult to determine the exact cause of the increase in traffic related deaths, it appears the increase is likely due to an increase in distracted driving.
Iowa already has a law prohibiting texting while driving, but because of the increase in fatalities in 2016, the Iowa Legislature is taking a hard look at possible legislation to address the increase in distracted driving. This could include making texting while driving a primary offense as opposed to only a secondary offense.
As someone who has represented many people whose lives have been forever changed as a result of car accidents, I realize the seriousness of the risk presented by distracted driving. Whether it is additional legislation or more public education related to distracted driving, it is clear that something should be done to reverse this deadly trend. Four hundred families lost loved ones on Iowa Roads last year and that is 400 too many.