OMG! Texting While Driving is a Distraction – Don't Do It!
Texting while driving is a deadly distraction.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has joined forces with the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) on a public service announcement urging drivers to NEVER text while driving. Simply put, texting is a deadly distraction that can cause accidents, severe orthopaedic traumas or even worse, death. Orthopaedic surgeons not only treat, but want to prevent accidental traumas from occurring in the first place. This ad is the first step in educating the public in what has become a commonplace practice among drivers.
Get the Facts!
The statistics on distracted driving are startling. U.S. Department of Transportation statistics indicate that in 2008 nearly 6,000 people died and more than half a million were injured in crashes associated with distractions of all types.1 Among the various distractions, texting stands out as the most dangerous. Research from Virginia Tech2 has found that text messaging increases the risk of crash/near crash involvement by 23 times.
In addition, general statistics on distracted driving are startling:
- 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of near crashes involve some type of distraction. (Source: Virginia Tech 100-car study for NHTSA)
- The worst offenders are the youngest and least-experienced drivers: men and women under 20 years of age. (NHTSA)
- Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving:
- The AAOS and OTA encourage all drivers to pull over to use a cell phone, but if you must answer the phone, use a hands-free device.
- Do not dial phone numbers on a cell phone, send or read text messages while driving.
- When in the car, set up a "driving" profile on your smartphone, which switches off text alerts and silences the phone. (This is a function on the Blackberry that can be easily selected from the home screen).
- To listen to the radio, use the volume and station buttons on the steering wheel, instead of reaching for the center counsel.
- Before you depart, load compact discs in the player or set up a pre-selected playlist on an mp 3 player.
- Enter an address in the navigation system before you depart or while in park.
Other Resources and More Information:
- Orthopaedic Trauma Association
- Your Orthopaedic Connection - driving safety tips
- National Safety Council - distracted driving program
- Distraction.Gov - Statistics and Facts about Distracted Driving - official government site on distracted driving launched by the US Department of Transportation
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - Vehicle Safety Research - NHTSA Drowsy and distracted driving research
- Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Press Release - Cell Phone Use and Distraction While Driving
- Pew Internet and American Life Project (Pew Research Center) - Teens and Distracted Driving Statistics
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration - Study showing truckers that text and drive have an accident odds ratio of 23 percent.
- Governors Highway Safety Association - cell phone driving laws for each state
- FocusDrivenSM - Advocates for cell-free driving
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