The MN State Patrol shared a sobering reminder about the consequences of distracted driving.

A series of photos posted to Twitter show the resulting car crash of a 17-year old using his phone behind the wheel.

The family of a 17-year-old is lucky to have him home for the holidays following a distracted driving-related crash that could have ended up much worse. The teen admitted to looking at directions on his phone when he crashed on Dec. 10 on I-494 east of Hwy. 52.

As a reminder, here is Minnesota state law regarding cell phone use while driving according to Minnesota's Office of Traffic Safety:

It is illegal for drivers to read/compose/send text messages and emails, or access the Internet using a wireless device while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic —including stopped in traffic or at a traffic light.


Cell phone use is totally banned for teen drivers during their permit and provisional license stages.

The Office of Traffic Safety also offers these tips to avoid distracted driving:

  • Cell phones — turn off cell phones, or place them out of reach to avoid the urge to dial or answer. If a passenger is present, ask them to handle calls/texts.

  • Music and other controls — pre-program favorite radio stations for easy access and arrange music (mp3 player/CDs/tapes) in an easy-to-access spot. Adjust mirrors and heat/AC before traveling, or ask a passenger to assist.

  • Navigation — designate a passenger to serve as a co-pilot to help with directions. If driving alone, map out destinations in advance, and pull over to study a map.

  • Eating and drinking — try to avoid food/beverage, at least messy foods, and be sure food and drinks are secured.

  • Children — teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle; do not underestimate how distracting it can be to tend to children while driving.

  • Passengers — speak up to stop drivers from distracted driving behavior.

  • When making/receiving a call, ask if the person is driving. If so, ask them to call back at a safer time.

If you have teens our young adults of driving age, I suggest you make sure they see this and are reminded of the consequences of distracted driving.

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