April is Distracted Driving Awareness month, an opportunity to bring attention to an issue causing thousands to die annually. As technological advances are made, allowing us to place phone calls, dictate messages and even update social media accounts while behind the wheel, the risk of automobile crashes increases. Anything that takes our attention away from driving is a distraction!
- Reaching for your phone or other items
- Talking to another passenger
- Turning knobs in the car, like the A/C, navigation system or entertainment system
According to Allstate Insurance, 9 Americans die every day from distracted driving accidents. Distracted driving poses a risk to drivers of all ages, but is especially risky to our younger drivers. As prom season comes to a close and summer looms ahead, let us recognize that teenage drivers are three times more likely to be in an accident as drivers 20 years of age and older. Six teens ages 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries. Automobile accidents are already the leading cause of death for teens in our country, and distraction serves to divert attention from the primary task of driving.
We at MORE HEALTH take safe driving seriously. Through our “Trauma is No Accident Lesson,” students learn the importance of focusing on the road. Cell phones, music, food, and friends are distractions that can lead to trauma. An interactive game shows students how simple tasks, coupled with driving, become complex and dangerous. Factual stories and simulations emphasize the importance of wearing a seat belt and not driving while intoxicated. Students also gain an understanding of brain and spinal cord injuries and the process of rehabilitation.
Take a moment to view these videos as a reminder to discuss distraction-free driving habits with your family members!