Distracted driving is a growing cause of automobile accidents in the U.S. With cars, bikes and pedestrians sharing our congested city streets, and with more vehicles zooming along on our highways, you would think drivers would want to operate at 100 percent attentiveness! And yet, how often do we see a driver furtively (or openly) texting, putting on eye makeup, or eating a messy burger? The problem is so serious that there is now an official government website to address the problem, www.distraction.gov.
If you are guilty of distracted driving, or if you know someone who is, check out these new consumer education videos from Decide to Drive, a joint project between the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. While the short spots might make you laugh, the message they convey is not so humorous: the U.S. Department of Transportation says that close to 500,000 people are killed or injured in distracted-driving crashes each year.
The videos focus on common distractions such as shaving, putting on makeup, eating, drinking hot beverages and the all-too-familiar taking a selfie.
Decide to Drive also provides the “wreck-less checklist” of ways to avoid distracted driving:
- Put on any accessories you may need, such as sunglasses or Bluetooth earpieces before you start driving.
- Adjust seats, head rests, vehicle controls and mirrors. And don’t forget to fasten your seat belt.
- Move all reading material away from easy reach. Pre-load mp3 playlist or CDs and adjust volume level so your music does not mask the sounds of emergency sirens.
- Enter an address in the navigation system before you depart or review maps and written directions before you drive.
- Stop your car in a safe area before attending to a child or a pet, or having an involved discussion.
- Driving is not the time to apply makeup, groom, polish your nails, or change clothing.
- Do not eat or drink while driving.
- Do not text, make a call, take selfies or make vlogs while driving. Just put the phone away.
- At all times while operating your vehicle, keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Source: IlluminAge AgeWise reporting on news release from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (www.aaos.org).