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Cars safely passing a tractor driving on the road
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SafetyEpisode 163

Tips to stay safe on the road

Apr 23, 2024

Distracted driving is a leading cause of vehicle accidents. Lisa Kons, Minnesota Safety Council safety and advocacy director, says thousands of crashes occur every year in Minnesota and more than 3,500 people died nationwide last year due to inattentive drivers.

Drivers can reduce the risk by focusing on the road and their surroundings, she says.

“It’s so important for drivers to focus on the task at hand. It doesn’t matter if you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle or a piece of machinery, it’s very important to have your brain in the game, your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel,” Kons says.

CHS driver safety training

Safety is a core value at CHS. As the nation’s largest farmer-owned cooperative, CHS has one of the largest commercial fleets in the U.S. with about 32,000 vehicles with drivers covering about 100 million miles annually.

Taylor Kippels, a transportation safety specialist with CHS, says the company provides drivers with rigorous safety training that includes guidance to eliminate distracted driving and defensive driving tactics.

“We strive to put the well-being of our people, communities and customers first every day,” she says.

Avoid distracted driving

Distracted driving is dangerous whether it occurs on the road or the field, Kons says.

Cell phones are one of the top distractions, she says. She recommends not using phones or other electronic devices while operating equipment and vehicles.

“Develop safety zones and implement break times when equipment can be shut down or pulled off the road so phones can be safely used. Farmers often work alone, so it’s so important to focus on the task at hand,” Kons says.

When on the road, Kons says vigilance is the key to protecting yourself from distracted drivers. “We need to pay attention. If someone darts out in front of your vehicle or there’s a hazard on the road, you need to be able to quickly stop.”

To learn more about National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, visit the National Safety Council. For more prevention tips, visit the Minnesota Safety Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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