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Road Safety Urged as Long Holiday Weekend Continues

PHOTO: Drivers are being reminded of the dangers of distractions behind the wheel as the long holiday weekend continues. Texting is a major distraction, but officials say hands-free phones also take your attention away and can be just as dangerous. CREDIT: Robert Provost
PHOTO: Drivers are being reminded of the dangers of distractions behind the wheel as the long holiday weekend continues. Texting is a major distraction, but officials say hands-free phones also take your attention away and can be just as dangerous. CREDIT: Robert Provost
July 5, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. – As the long holiday weekend continues, a reminder for drivers in North Dakota – keep your hands on the wheel and your focus on the road.

Distracted driving is said to be a factor in at least one-in-four crashes, and while texting is often cited, Highway Patrol Sgt. Tom Iverson notes that using a hands-free device doesn't mean risk-free.

"You're still diverting your attention by talking and not necessarily paying as close of attention to the road as you need to be,” he explains. “Driving is for driving only and not for diverting your attention."

Nationally, more than 3,000 people are killed in distracted driving crashes each year.

Other than getting rid of distractions, Iverson says buckle up, don't speed and if you plan to drink, don't drive.

"People are celebrating,” he points out. “It's a good time. Families get together, but we just need to remind people to be safe.

“Even if you're not drinking, always be on the lookout for those out there that maybe, you never know, a vehicle that you're meeting, that they may be under the influence."


John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND