Distracted driving contributes to an average of 28 deaths and 156 serious, life-changing injuries a year in Minnesota, according to the State’s Department of Public Safety.

This month, as part of a national distracted driving enforcement and awareness campaign, law enforcement agencies and traffic safety partners in Minnesota are teaming up to educate motorists, enforce the hands-free cell phone law and help stop other distracting behaviors.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is coordinating the campaign with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“We all lead busy lives and think we can multitask, but behind the wheel of the car is not the place to do that,” said OTS Director Mike Hanson. “You may not think a quick glance down at your phone or radio will do any harm, but that simple distraction can seriously injure or kill someone in an instant.”

More than 32,000 crashes were distracted driving-related from 2018-2022, contributing to one in 11 crashes in Minnesota, the Department of Public Safety has revealed. Preliminary figures for 2022 also show distracted driving contributed to 126 injuries and 22 deaths.