We’ve all heard the frightening statistics and admitted the truth: Americans are driving distracted – by phone calls, text messages, snaps, selfies, music, 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.
Distraction is a big problem.
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).
Preliminary National Safety Council (NSC) estimates show that 2016 may have been the deadliest year on the nation’s roads since 2007. As many as 40,000 people may have died as a result of motor vehicle crashes, while an estimated 4.6 million additional roadway users were seriously injured. This marks a 6% increase over 2015 and a 14% increase over 2014. (National Safety Council, 2020) On a typical day, more than 700 people are injured in distracted driving crashes.
Parkview is working to improve statistics through community outreach programs such as Don't Text & Drive, Teen Driver Safety, Share the Road and other initiatives.
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
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 Americans have heard first-hand accounts from individuals 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.
In July, 2020, Indiana’s new hands-free driving law went into effect, prohibiting motorists from holding or using a cell phone while driving. However, drivers with both hands on the wheel can still become visually, manually or cognitively distracted.
“At Parkview Trauma Centers, we see the results of distracted driving all too frequently,” said Lisa Hollister, director of trauma and acute surgery, Parkview Trauma Services. “For years you’ve heard us say ‘Don’t Text & Drive’ – take it a step further by not only keeping your hands on the wheel, but also keeping your eyes and mind on the road.”
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 encourages parents to engage young drivers by:
- 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
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. Additionally, Parkview offers Parent/Teen driving seminars. These free, thought-provoking events are always full of excellent information from the Indiana State Police. Teens and parents alike benefit. Contact Lauren.Quandt@parkview.com for more information.
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.