Can someone who had a shoulder replacement and will be in a sling for four more weeks still be legal to drive with one arm?

There are no restrictions placed on a license for this situation, unless a physician notifies driver and vehicle services (DVS). If the driver’s (lack of) control of the vehicle due to this type of injury causes issues that make for a traffic stop or if that person was involved in a crash, a citation could be issued.

Distracted or inattentive driving is when a driver engages in any activity that might distract them from the primary task of driving — and increase their risk of crashing. Attentive driving is critical as the traffic environment changes constantly and drivers must be prepared to react.

Over the last five years (2013-17) in Minnesota, distracted or inattentive driving was a contributing factor in an average of 54 deaths and 221 serious injuries each year. The Department of Traffic Safety Office of Traffic Safety estimates these numbers are underreported due to law enforcement’s challenge in determining distraction as a crash factor.

Tips to avoid distracted driving:

• Turn off cell phones or place them out of reach to avoid the urge to text, call or answer. If a passenger is present, ask them to handle calls and texts.

• Pre-program radio stations for easy access and arrange music in an easy-to-access location. Adjust mirrors and heat or AC before traveling or ask a passenger to assist.

• 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.

• Avoid food and beverages, and be sure food and drinks are secured.

• 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 receiving calls ask if the person is driving. If so, ask them to call back when they arrive at their destination.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send them to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester, MN, 55901-5848or reach him at Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us.