We’ve all heard the frightening statistics and admitted the truth: Americans are driving distracted – by phone calls, text messages, music channels, meals on the go, talking with passengers and multitasking. Drivers are not focused behind the wheel, and they’re dying in accidents that could have been prevented.
At Parkview Trauma Centers, we see the results of those needless accidents all too frequently. So we’ve made it our mission to equip drivers with a greater awareness of the consequences of their actions.
What is distracted driving?
Driving isn't just about focusing on the road with your hands at 10 and 2. You can become visually, manually or cognitively distracted. A visual distraction means you take your eyes of the road. A manual distraction means you take your hands off the wheel. A cognitive distraction means you take your mind off driving (Traffic Safety Facts, 2013).
How big is the problem?
Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that involved some type of distraction (Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety, 2014). Distracted driving also contributes to 16 percent of all fatal crashes, leading to about 5,000 each year (AAA Foundation for Trafic Safety).
Parkview is working to improve statistics through community outreach programs such as Don't Text & Drive, Teen Driver Safety, Share the Road and other iniiatives.
Don’t Text & Drive
Parkview Trauma Centers have focused strongly on the issue of texting and driving. Our Don't Text & Drive program has become well known in many states and countries. Fort Wayne and other communities have embraced our campaign to get people to put down the mobile device while driving. Thousands of teens have heard first-hand accounts from family members who lost loved ones to texting behind the wheel, and they’ve taken the pledge not to text and drive.
From presentations to high school and civic groups to participation in international trauma prevention initiatives, the Don’t Text & Drive campaign has gotten the word out – and grown into a phenomenon.
To learn more, visit the Don’t Text & Drive page.
Teen Driver Safety
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among American teens. Statistics show that 11 percent of all drivers ages 15-19 involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest percentage of distracted drivers.
We are committed to reducing the number of teen drivers involved in car crashes. Programs like Don’t Text & Drive and Don’t Drink & Drive present information and strategies to help prepare teens for specific situations that cause distractions while driving.
Parkview sponsors semi-annual Parent-Teen Contract Seminars that engage young drivers and their parents in:
- Defining rules for driving
- Refreshing knowledge of safe driving habits
- Building teens’ awareness that friends’ risky driving behaviors put all of their passengers’ lives at risk
- Creating a driving contact between parents and new drivers
- These free, thought-provoking events are always full of excellent information from the Indiana State Police. Teens and parents alike benefit.
Parkview Trauma Centers has partnered with Evans Toyota to encourage parents to talk to their teens about safe driving. The Parent/Teen Driving Contract is a great way to engage your teens in safe-driving conversation.
Download the Parent/Teen Driving Contract
Don't Drink & Drive
Every injury and death caused by drunk driving is preventable. In order to reduce the number of deaths and severe, long-term disabilities from crashes due to drinking and driving, Parkview sponsors public service announcements and signage in key public venues. Classroom presentations and educational materials targeting teenage drivers also support the Don’t Drink & Drive message.
To schedule an educational presentation at your school or community organization, call (260) 266-1270.
Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
More than half (52 percent) of Americans ages 12 and older report being current drinkers of alcohol. Twenty-seven percent report current use of a tobacco product. Nine percent report illicit drug use (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2013). Nurses treating patients in a variety of healthcare settings will encounter individuals who use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
How can Parkview providers detect abuse sooner?
Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a universal screening and prevention tool that is currently being implemented by Parkvew Health. An evidence-based practice, SBIRT targets individuals who use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, but are not yet dependent on those substances. Any level of drinking or drug use may complicate an individual’s health condition, work and family life (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS], 2013). SBIRT is an approach nurses can use to provide effective risk reduction and intervention prior to a patient’s need for more extensive treatment.