Not Worth $178.50

Not Worth $178.50

Don’t drive distracted

May 3, 2022 // 3 min

You’ve been breaking the law for almost two years.

Maybe you didn’t even know it. Maybe you did. But you have been. What law you ask? Texting while driving.

A South Dakota state law went into effect on July 1, 2020, making it a Class 2 misdemeanor to use a cell phone while operating a vehicle. The only exceptions are for emergency purposes and using a GPS app—that means no taking photos, using the internet, posting to social media, reading emails or using phone applications while driving.

Texting while driving is a primary offense, meaning drivers can be pulled over for only using a cell phone. Not only do you have to weather the disapproving looks of cars passing by, but the offense carries a $178.50 fine. There’s also a high probability that your car insurance will increase with a ticket.

The good news? There are lots of ways to avoid this hefty fine.

Put the phone away


If your phone is a distraction, place it in the back seat, the trunk, the glove box or any other place where it’s out of reach. If you can’t reach the phone, you won’t break the law.

Silence the distraction

Constant cellphone rings and notifications are likely to grab your attention when you’re driving. Try silencing your phone or turning it off while you drive.

Airplane mode and do not disturb

Airplane mode and do not disturb will be your best friend. Most, if not all, devices have the option to place your phone into airplane mode. This function turns off data and silences any notifications you may get. But not to worry, they’ll all show up when your data is turned back on.

Pro Tip: Some devices like iPhone have a do not disturb while driving option that will automatically turn on when you enter your vehicle.

Pull over and park

Sometimes we’re waiting for an important text or call—maybe from the doctor, or your boss, maybe a call about your children or something else time sensitive. If you need to answer, just pull over. Spending the five minutes parked to respond to a text is better than getting hurt or even killed in a crash.

Be a role model and speak up

Chances are if you make it a priority not to text and drive, your family and friends will too. When you see someone driving distracted, speak up. It can be a kind “can I help answer the text for you?” or a short “can it wait?”

Texting while driving is not worth the ticket or the fine. Try these techniques to see which one works best for you and share them with a friend. Together we can make the roads safer and avoid distractions while driving.

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Subscribe to our emails to stay up to date on safe driving tips, news and giveaways from the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety. Form from Campaign Monitor.

Don’t Fall for Tunnel Vision’s Game

The more you speed

The less you see

May 3, 2022 // 3 min

Don’t Fall for Tunnel Vision’s Game

Imagine a scenario to which we can all relate: being late to work. The ear-deafening alarm clock goes off, and you decide to press snooze. Later, you roll over and see that 20 minutes have gone by—oh no! You quickly get up, rush to get ready and grab a handful of cereal for breakfast. You live roughly 15 minutes from work, and it’s 7:50. You think you can make up the five minutes by driving faster. What you don’t realize is that you are not saving any time. Instead, you are creating tunnel vision while you drive and risking the lives of others on the road. Let us explain.

When you decide to drive over the speed limit, you forfeit your best vision. The faster you go the smaller your view is of the road. Here are some visual references to show this decrease in road visibility.

15-25 MPH

At 15-25 MPH you have the best chances of seeing things in your surroundings. You can distinguish things out of the corner of your eye. You’re less likely to hit pedestrians or animals that run out into the street. The chance of someone you hit surviving is 95%. You have enough time to brake and avoid crashes.

25-35 MPH

At 25-35 MPH you have lost some visual acuity. You can no longer see things in the corner of your eye. You’re able to see surroundings starting 10-ft in front of your car. You have less reaction time if someone or something hops out in front of your vehicle. If you were to hit a person at this speed, there is only a 60% chance they’d survive.

35-45 MPH

At 35-45 MPH your vision is severely diminished. Your peripheral vision can track large objects in the distance but not small ones. You no longer have a reactionary gap large enough to account for pedestrians and animals that might present themselves. Only 20% of the people hit by vehicles going this speed survive.

45+ MPH

When you drive over 45 MPH, your tunnel vision is at its worst. Your vision can only focus on the pavement in front of you. You are not able to track any objects passing you while safely focusing on your driving. And we won’t even tell you the survival rate of those hit at this speed.

Remember, the more you speed, the less you see. If the risk of getting a ticket or the fact that you won’t save time isn’t enough to slow you down, the problem of tunnel vision should do it. Think about it this way, if your kid was crossing the street, what speed would you hope vehicles were going?

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Make a Mocktail


May 3, 2022 // 2 min

Long day at work? Your turn to be the DD? Just don’t want to drink? Never fear, OHS is here. We have listed four of our favorite alcohol-free drinks, the ingredients you’ll need and how to make them. And don’t forget, you can order non-alcoholic drinks at the bar too

Tequila-less Sunrise

Here’s what you’ll need to make this drink:

  • 3/4 cup pulp free orange juice
  • 1/2 cup peach juice
  • 3 tbsp lemon-lime soda
  • 3 tbsp grenadine
  • Ice

First fill your highball glass in this order: ice, orange juice, peach juice and lemon soda. Then add the three tbsp of grenadine syrup to create a pink ombre at the bottom of your glass. Top the drink off with an orange slice or a cherry. And like magic, you’ve got a delicious mocktail and the ability to drive safely.

Strawberry No-jito

Here’s what you’ll need to make this drink:

  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 3 strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 lime, quartered into wedges
  • 6 oz lime sparkling water

This one is for the strawberry lovers. First things first, put your sugar, two strawberries and six mint leaves in the glass. Next, add the juice of three lime wedges (pro tip: make sure you don’t have any paper cuts, or it might sting!). Muddle these ingredients until your sugar is dissolved. Now fill your glass with ice, pour in the sparkling water and stir. After you garnish with strawberries, mint leaves and lime wedges, you’ll be golden.

Piña Car-ladas

Here’s what you’ll need to make this drink:

  • 3 cups frozen pineapple
  • 15 oz can of light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • Maraschino cherries

This drink is easy-peasy. Get out your handy dandy blender and blend all your ingredients together until smooth. Finally (yeah, you’re already almost done) grab a chilled glass from your freezer, poor in your drink and garnish with a pineapple slice. Cue the after sip ahh.

Cinnamon Pineapple Margari-DD-a

Here’s what you’ll need to make this drink for 8:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 10-11 lime wedges
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 2-3 cups ginger ale
  • 1 and 1/2 cups lime juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups pineapple juice


We saved the best for last. First mix your cinnamon and sugar together. Rub the rims of eight glasses with your lime and dip them into your cinnamon-sugar mixture. Next, pull out your biggest pitcher and add in the orange juice, ginger ale, lime juice, and powdered sugar. Don’t forget to stir until your sugar is dissolved. Now you’ll want to add in your pineapple juice and pop it in the fridge to chill. When you are ready to get your party started, add ice to your sugar-rimmed glasses, pour your delicious, chilled mocktail and garnish.

We hope you enjoy trying these mocktails. The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety is on a mission to end drunk driving in the state, and you can help! Share this with your friends and promise not to turn a blind eye to drunk driving.

Join the List

Subscribe to our emails to stay up to date on safe driving tips, news and giveaways from the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety. Form from Campaign Monitor.