Distracted driving-related crashes claim an average of 46 lives each year, and those crashes cause a lifetime of grief and pain for the families left behind and an untold story of what could have been.

In an effort to increase awareness and change dangerous behaviors, Minnesota law enforcement agencies are taking part in a two-week distracted driving enforcement wave through June 14th.

“Getting ready to leave a few minutes earlier can help you avoid many distractions that take place in the car,” said Michelle Ness. “Giving yourself more time helps you get ready at home, not in the car. It allows you to eat and not risk dropping food on your lap, which could take your eyes off the road. It allows you to set your radio, streaming music or GPS before you start driving. You get the picture. All these activities behind the wheel are behaviors that could lead to a crash. You don’t want to be that person who takes another life or your own. Drive smart by always paying attention behind the wheel.”

The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, Rochester Police Department and Minnesota State Patrol will take part in extra enforcement on Minnesota roadways, along with more than 300 law enforcement agencies across the state. The campaign is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.

According to a press release from the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, more than 50,000 crashes were distracted-driving related from 2015-2019, contributing to one in seven crashes in Minnesota. In 2019, distracted driving contributed to 3,279 injuries and 32 deaths across the state.

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