Shelton Interim Police Chief Shawn Sequeira, is working to ensure residents have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving Holiday by recommending several practices drivers should obey when behind the wheel. \u201cWe urge residents, especially our teenage drivers, to please follow the rules of the road and avoid distractions,\u201d Chief Sequeira said. \u201cWhether operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or texting and driving, anything that impedes your focus could end with serious consequences.\u201d \u201cThe Thanksgiving Holiday is a good opportunity to remind all drivers, especially the newly licensed, of the risks associated with our roadways. We want everyone to enjoy the long weekend, but do not want anyone to risk becoming a statistic.\u201d Don\u2019t text and drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports a quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. Additionally, NHTSA reports that the average text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. While traveling at 55 miles per hour, that\u2019s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. If you can, while behind the wheel, keep your phone off. This will help ensure drivers\u2019 focus remains solely on the road. NHTSA reports that engaging in tasks like reaching for your phone, dialing and texting increases the risk of getting into a crash threefold. Never get behind the wheel if you\u2019ve been drinking and don\u2019t get in a vehicle with an impaired driver. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2015, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol- impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31 percent) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Obey the speed limit. Speeding is a major contributor to motor vehicle accidents and fatal car crashes. Don\u2019t feel pressured to speed to keep up with traffic or friends on the road. Also, speeding tickets are often pricey and will result in an increase on your insurance premium. Be a defensive driver. Remain cognizant of the traffic ahead, behind, and next to you at all times. Stay at least one car length behind the car in front of you, especially in areas where the speed limit is slower. Remember to share the road with bikers on side streets, even if arrows are not marked. Turn your headlights on to increase visibility.