Spring is finally here. The trees are leafing out. Flowers are emerging. Farmers are wrapping up spring planting and other field work. For many of us, minds are turning to the school year’s end, graduations, vacations and trips to the lake.

Our thoughts should also include keeping ourselves, our loved ones and others with whom we share Minnesota roads safe at a time of year filled with risks. Kids out of school, bicyclists, motorcyclists and work zones all compound persistent traffic safety challenges like excessive speed and behind-the-wheel distraction.

While Memorial Day is considered the start of the summer fun season, keep in mind it’s also the beginning of the 100 Most Dangerous Days on our roads. That’s especially ominous this year as traffic deaths to date for 2024 are already more than 40% ahead of this time in 2023. We must all work to turn the trend downward.

I recently had the privilege of sharing the distracted driving message on “Around the Table,” an audio news program presented by CHS Inc. on The American Ag Network. It airs on stations in Minnesota and seven other states across the Midwest. CHS is one of Minnesota’s largest companies and the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and has thousands of its own vehicles on the road, not to mention those of member cooperatives and farmer-owners. It was a great chance to remind everyone that drivers need to focus the task at hand whether they’re behind the wheel of a vehicle or a piece of machinery. That’s especially important this time of year when farmers and farm supply companies are logging many miles to get a new crop in. Those of us who aren’t directly involved in ag need to pay full attention and demonstrate patience when we encounter agricultural vehicles and equipment.

Watch for the upcoming May issue of the Drive Safe MN Newsletter for more information and links to resources on these topics and more. It’s up to each of us to remind and educate our employee teams, family members, friends and anyone else who’ll listen that it’s up to all of us to have your brain in the game, your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel each time they get in the drivers’ seat.

Yours in traffic safety,

Lisa Kons
Minnesota NETS Coordinator