Minnesota Safety Council: What's the Solution to Distracted Driving? All of Us!
April is National Distracted Driving Month

ST. PAUL (April 6, 2016) – Spring brings the start of the summer driving season. More vehicles, more drivers, same distractions. With both statewide and nationwide focus on distracted driving throughout April, the Minnesota Safety Council urges all drivers to keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and minds on driving.

"We simply can't do two things at once," said Paul Aasen, president of the Minnesota Safety Council. "Driving needs our full attention and we're not being responsible if we're distracted. We are the solution to distracted driving crashes."

Distracted or inattentive driving is identified in one of every four reported crashes in Minnesota, and authorities believe the true number is likely much higher, given the challenges law enforcement officers face in determining distraction as a factor.

"We can't ignore the evidence that distraction, whether it's visual, manual or mental, significantly impairs our driving ability," said Lisa Kons, traffic safety education coordinator for the safety council. "Distracted driving is a big contributor to the current outbreak of traffic deaths in Minnesota."

Traffic deaths were up 13% last year according to preliminary reports from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Kons said, and 2016 is off to a bad start, with 82 deaths year-to-date compared to 64 a year ago.

The Minnesota Safety Council recommends that all drivers:
  • Put away the phone and other electronic devices.
  • Put down the food, the makeup, the book.
  • Recognize that hands-free is not distraction-free.
  • Focus on driving.

NOTES TO EDITOR: See http://www.minnesotasafetycouncil.org/DistractedDriving.cfm for links to more on distracted driving — general information, statistics, research, laws and resources.

The Minnesota Safety Council is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing injuries on the road, at work, at home, and in the community. For more information, see www.minnesotasafetycouncil.org.

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