Did you know that Memorial Day through Labor Day are considered the 100 deadliest days on Minnesota roads? In fact, this past Memorial Day was the deadliest on Minnesota roads since 2010. The warmer temperatures and easing of coronavirus restrictions means more people are on the roads. We want to help end distracted driving and have some tips and stories to share.
The month of April is typically Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the state’s new awareness campaign was put on hold until now. Minnesota law enforcement will be on the lookout for distracted drivers, now through June 14th, 2020.
Drive Smart: When you are driving, focus only on driving.
It’s time to end distracted driving in Willmar, Minnesota, and across our country. Minnesota has a “Drive Smart” campaign, with the message of when you are driving, focus on that, and no other distractions around you.
Distracted Driving Includes Texting & Other Distractions
Distracted driving has skyrocketed with the increased usage of smartphones and texting. But distracted driving also includes distractions of changing the controls for music, eating and drinking, a distraction from kids arguing, putting on make-up, fiddling with a GPS system or drowsiness.
Distracted Driving is Expensive and Dangerous
Minnesota has been a hand-free state for about a year, but there is still a lot of work to do. Minnesota law enforcement will be on the lookout for distracted drivers, now through June 14th, 2020. The fines are not cheap. In 2020, in Minnesota, if you get a ticket for texting behind the wheel you will pay $120. If it’s not your first offense, it will be $300. But the price of the ticket is nothing compared to what could happen in just that split second that you take your eyes off the road. In Minnesota, if a driver injures or kills someone because of texting and driving, they can face a felony charge of criminal vehicular operation or homicide. A citation for distracted driving in Minnesota can be viewed as a moving violation by some insurance companies. This could also cause your insurance rates to increase and possibly lose any good driver discounts you may have earned.
15 Tips for Stopping Distracted Driving in its Tracks
- When you get in the car, turn off your phone.
- Set a good example for your kids. Before you know it they will be driving and modeling your behavior.
- Keep your hands at 10 and 2. Don’t let your knees do the driving.
- If you are tired, pull over to rest. Get enough sleep so that you are alert and ready to drive.
- If you need to text or call someone, pull over somewhere safe, or use a hands-free option.
- If your kids need attention in the back seat, pull over in a safe spot to address the issue.
- Need to make a call or text? Ask your passenger to do it on your behalf.
- If you get tempted to pick up your cell phone, place it in your cubby where it is not reachable.
- If you are using a GPS, set your coordinates before you get on the road.
- To avoid fiddling with music or radio, choose the music or podcast you are going to listen to ahead of time.
- Avoid eating in the car. If you go to a drive-thru, leave yourself time to stop and eat.
- Turn your phone on the “Do not Disturb” mode to avoid the temptation to answer the call.
- Let your family members that you will be driving and for how long so that they don’t call or text you during that time, and do the same when you know your family members are driving.
- Discuss distracted driving with your employer so they are clear on expectations on waiting until you are done driving to respond to call or texts.
- Call out those who are texting and driving when you are a passenger to let them know you are not comfortable with that.
Travelers Insurance: Unfinished Stories
According to Travelers Insurance, each day nine people are killed by distracted driving, leaving their stories unfinished.
Let’s Talk! Our Agents are Here for You.
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