City of St. Paul Park 

on the Mississippi

Manage your distractions

Anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel or your mind off your driving can be a big problem.  In fact, studies prove that your brain cannot give full attention to more than one thing at a time.

Typical distractions:
  • Adjusting the radio, CD player, iPOD, CPS system.
  • Eating reading a map, watching a movie, shaving putting on makeup.
  • Driving an unfamiliar vehicle or route.
  • Interacting with other passengers, especially children.
  • Using a cell phone--sorry, that includes hands-free!-- or texting.

Manage your distractions with the following steps:
  • Secure everyone and everything that could be a distraction.
  • don't wait until you are driving to plan your route or attend to grooming.  Plan before you go.  Leave a little earlier--you'll get there less stressed and more safely.
  • Preset the climate control, radio, and CD player and identify the location of signals, wipers, and lights in the vehicle.
  • Postpone complex or emotional conversations with passengers until you arrive at your destination.
  • Pull over where it's safe and legal if a passenger is distracting you, or you need to use your cell phone.
  • Take a break when you are hungry or thirsty. 
  • Put away distracting materials, such as newspapers, business reports, or day planners, until you arrive at your destination.
  • Don't call if you know someone is driving--and don't answer the phone if you're behind the wheel.

"So, what's the difference between talking on a cell phone and talking with passengers?"
Well, here's the big one: a passenger can see the road along with you and can stop talking or alert you to possible hazards. A person on the other end of your cell phone has no clue what's happening as you drive.

source: Minnesota Safety Council
City of St. Paul Park, 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park MN 55071