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Column: Take steps to prevent distracted driving

3:13 PM, Sep. 12, 2013  |  Comments
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In an effort to raise awareness, the Wisconsin Rapids Pedestrian Safety Subcommittee will release a series of brief TIPS of the Month. This month's tip topic is distracted driving.

We've all heard distracted driving kills, but how many of us have actually taken steps to prevent ourselves from operating a vehicle while distracted? It only takes one time to cause a lifetime of pain. Make driving your primary task, not something you are doing in addition to another activity and remember, whatever the distraction may be: It Can Wait.

T: Think first. How many lives will be negatively impacted if you crash due to distracted driving? Distracted driving crashes not only affect the pedestrian or passengers in the vehicle, but all of the family members and loved ones of those involved. Think about how living with the guilt of causing the crash will impact your daily life.

I: It can wait. Nothing is important enough to need attention immediately and risk taking a life. If something is so important that it needs immediate attention, pull over to respond.

P: Place distractions out of reach. If a ringing phone is too tempting, put it in the back seat or turn it off. When incoming texts come in, you won't be tempted to reach for it. Avoid other distractions as well. Set your GPS prior to driving, apply make-up and do your hair at home, eat before you leave, etc.

S: Spread the word. When you see someone driving distracted, kindly remind them of the consequences that will occur should they get into a crash. Positive peer pressure is just that - positive.

To learn more about the Wisconsin Rapids Pedestrian Safety Education Subcommittee, or for more distracted driving safety information please contact: Tyler Zastava, Emergency Preparedness, PO Box 8080 Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495-8080, 715-421-8929, tzastava@co.wood.wi.us.

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