Distracted drivers pose a deadly risk to everyone on the road, according to the Governors Highway Safety Assn.

The state governors safety group points to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2008 — the most recent year for which data is available — 5,870 people lost their lives and another 515,000 were injured in police-reported crashes in which one form of distraction was noted on the crash report.

Drivers engage in a range of distracting activities, according to the safety group, which offers the following tips for managing some of the most common distractions:

• Turn cell phones off or switch to silent mode before you get in the vehicle.

• Set up a special message to tell callers that you are driving and you’ll get back to them as soon as possible, or sign up for a service that offers this.

• Pull over to a safe area if you need to make a call or, if possible, ask a co-driver or passenger to make the call for you.

• Don’t ever text, surf the web or read your email while driving. Texting while driving is not only dangerous, it’s against the law in most states.

• Familiarize yourself with state and local laws. Some states and localities prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones. GHSA offers a handy chart of state laws on its website: http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html.

• Review maps and directions before you start to drive. If you need help when you are on the road, ask a co-driver or passenger to help or pull over to a safe location to review the map/directions again.

• Secure your pets. Pets can be a big distraction in the vehicle. Always secure your pets properly before you start to drive.

• Focus on driving and driving alone. Refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, reading and any other activity that takes your mind and eyes off the road.