How to avoid (and help prevent) distracted driving
This article is part of an ongoing series exploring the work of and issues faced by the UK HealthCare trauma team. The UK HealthCare trauma program is an American College of Surgeons accredited Level 1 Trauma Center.
Distracted driving causes about 3,000 deaths and 280,000 injuries per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted driving occurs when a driver’s attention is diverted by another activity, such as talking or texting on the phone, eating or drinking, talking to other people in the vehicle, adjusting the radio or navigation system, etc. Sending or reading one text message takes your eyes of the road for an average of five seconds. A lot can happen in five seconds.
Help Prevent Distracted Driving
• DO NOT multitasks while driving. Ask someone else in the car to read the text message or answer the phone call.
• Prepare for the drive ahead of time.
• Use applications or wireless headphones if you must answer a call while driving
• SPEAK UP- Ask the driver to focus on driving
• Offer assistance to reduce distractions
• Talk to your teens and young adults about safe driving
• Know state laws on distracted driving
• Lead by example
• Set consequences for distracted driving