Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, adjusting the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.
Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
Distracted Driving Facts
Distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives across the U.S. in 2019. Get the facts, get involved, and help keep America’s roads safe. We can all play a part in the effort to end distracted driving.
Teens can be the best messengers among their peers, so encourage them to speak up when they see a friend driving while distracted, have their friends sign a pledge to never drive distracted, become involved in their local student groups and organizations, and share messages on social media reminding their friends, family, and neighbors not to drive distracted.
Parents have to lead by example — by never driving distracted — and talk with their young driver about all the various kinds of distraction and important responsibilities that come with driving. Have everyone in the family sign the pledge to commit to distraction-free driving. Remind your teen driver that in states with graduated driver licensing (GDL), a violation of distracted-driving laws could mean a delayed or suspended license.
For more information, contact the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety.
Distracted Driving Campaigns
Click here to view our "Save It for L8R" campaign video.
Distracted Driving FAQs
What is South Dakota's Graduated Licensing law?
Learn more about graduated licensing in South Dakota. The new law became effective July 1, 2021.