Dear drivers: That text can wait for a bit

Not a single text message, Instagram post, Facebook Live video, or anything else you might find on your smartphone is worth your life or the life of anyone else.

So put the phone down while you’re behind the wheel.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for drivers who aren’t giving the needed attention to the road.

Texting and driving is illegal in Michigan, but drivers can be distracted by all kinds of things, including eating, reading maps, talking to passengers, or grooming themselved in the rearview mirror. The National Safety Council says nine Americans die and 100 are injured every day because of distracted driving, and the Michigan State Police says our state has witnessed a 57 percent increase in distracted driving crashes and a 67 percent increase in fatalities from such crashes between 2016 and 2017.

That’s 20,115 crashes and 72 fatalities.

It’s no laughing matter. It is a big deal.

So, drivers, put the phones away until you get to your destination. If you feel a text message is really that important, find a safe place to pull over.

Whatever it is, it can wait.