Surgeons Sponsor ‘Decide to Drive’ Campaign
The fact of the matter is that the summer months rank the highest for crashes and related injuries and fatalities among teen drivers and passengers due to summer freedom distractions.
It is estimated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that:
- Roughly 387,000 Americans were hurt in distracted driving-related crashes in 2011, and there were nearly 3,350 fatalities.
- Of the reported injury crashes in 2011, ten percent were described as “distraction-affected,” and 11 percent of all drivers below the age of 20 involved in deadly crashes were purportedly distracted at the time of the crash.
Seven of the top ten deadliest days of the year for driving take place between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so clearly, summer is the most dangerous time for teen drivers, according to AAA.
The American Academy of Othapeadic Surgeons (AAOS) is taking this matter to heart and is sponsoring the “Decide to Drive” campaign. In conjunction with AAOS, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Auto Alliance), implores teenage drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road this summer to ensure their friends, family, fellow travelers, and themselves remain safe while on the road.
When a driver reads a text message while driving, their eyes go off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. If the driver is going 44 mph, it would be similar to driving the length of an entire football field, while wearing a blindfold. According to just released information from NHTSA, they found that drivers are more than three times more likely to crash their car while reaching for an object in the car and an astounding 23 times more likely while texting.
The “decide to drive” campaign in an award-winning awareness/prevention movement hoping to eliminate distracted driving. The program includes an interactive website; print, television and radio public service advertisements; an elementary school educational curriculum; and active social media outreach.
The Orthapaedic surgeons have a vested interest in this matter as they are the ones who deal with the broken and injured bones and limbs after a crash. “Decide to Drive” provides the following Wreck-less Checklist for drivers:
- Consciously make a decision each time you get behind the wheel to make all other activities, and priorities secondary to driving.
- Adjust seats, head rests, vehicle controls and mirrors
- Fasten safety belt
- Pre-load CDs or mp3 playlists and adjust volume level so your music does not mask the sounds of emergency sirens
- Enter an address in the navigation system before you depart or review maps and written directions before you drive.
- Stop your vehicle any time there is a distraction that needs your attention, such as retrieving items, checking a map, or disciplining a child.
So what’s the bottom line? Take care of yourself and others while on the road. For more information, visit decidetodrive.org