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This past week, the Minnesota State Patrol announced that they will be focusing on preventing distracted driving in April, which will include extra enforcement to reduce distracted driving. Distracted driving is a leading crash factor, and the Minn. State Patrol is urging motorists to pay attention behind the wheel.

They will have extra cars on the roads and will be looking specifically for these violations. As part of the announcement, they all had the following suggestions:

• Turn off cell phones, or place it out of reach and do not talk on the phone with someone who is driving.

• Passengers speak up to drivers who are engaging in distracted behaviors.

• Map out and study directions before your trip.

• Teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle.

• Ready your GPS prior to pulling out.

• Be prepared if you have a busy schedule and do not do any activity while driving: except driving.

-Grooming, changing clothes, studying, writing, reading should be on hold until out of the vehicle.

-Get your sleep – fatigue will cause driver to be distracted easier and actually impairs our driving ability.

-Do not eat while driving.

– Day dreaming is a distraction.

Toward Zero Deaths (TZD). A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency trauma response.

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