Focus on Your Driving


Keeping our community safe from vehicle crashes, injuries and deaths related to them takes each and every driver’s attention. All licensed drivers play a critical role… you studied, practiced, tested and over time, became experienced. Be a patient, courteous driver. Please do your part to keep our community safe.

Would you want your surgeon texting or focusing on other things while performing surgery? Would you want an emergency responder distracted while rescuing a loved one? Do you want your child’s teacher working on personal business while instructing a class?

Licensed drivers are obligated to pay attention while operating a vehicle. Distractions whether it be cell phone usage (texting, talking – even hands free), eating, reading maps or other material, putting on makeup, listening to the radio or talking to passengers all take your focus off the task of driving. It is your responsibility to keep yourself and your passengers safe. Buckling up and asking that all passengers buckle up is one of the most effective ways. Even those quick, short trips!

Practicing “defensive driving” is crucial with the increased traffic in our community. Did you know if you cannot see the driver of a semi, they cannot see you? Make sure that you can see them (using the semi’s side-view mirrors), do not follow too close. Did you know that semis and other large heavy motor vehicles take longer to stop and maneuver road hazards? Slow down and give them room.

Farm and ranch equipment share our roadways and move at a much slower pace, slow down well in advance and pay close attention to their path of travel. Remember they are providing your food. When traveling on gravel/dirt roads, beware of “blinding dust” and especially when meeting oncoming traffic, slow down. The dust you create could block hazards (vehicles, wildlife, livestock and dangerous road conditions) for other drivers.

Pay close attention to your surroundings, children at play, road hazards, weather conditions, other drivers and vehicles. Remember we have individuals on our roadways that are unfamiliar with our area; they have more distractions to focus on; directions, traffic signs, unfamiliar road hazards and traffic.

Slow down, follow the 3-second rule: PAY COMPLETE ATTENTION to your driving when operating a vehicle. We can all make a difference in preventing vehicle crashes, injuries and deaths related to them. Simple tips, but do you follow them? If not, you are putting yourself, your loved ones and others in the community in harms way.

If you want to help make a difference in your community, consider becoming a member of the Injury Prevention Team/DUI Task Force. Call Mary Friesz, Injury Prevention Specialist at the Richland County Health Department, 406-433-2207.


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