Did you know…
- Each year, approximately 421,000 Americans are injured in distracted-driving–related crashes.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012, distracted- driving–related crashes resulted in an estimated 3,328 fatalities.
- An AAOS-Harris Interactive survey found that 94 percent of drivers believe that distracted driving is a problem in the United States, and 89 percent believe that it is a problem within their own communities.
- Since 2009, orthopaedic surgeons and automakers have urged drivers to “Decide to Drive” when they are behind the wheel by avoiding texting, eating, talking on the phone, applying make-up, and other distractions.
- The awareness and prevention campaign includes an interactive website; print, television and radio public service advertisements; elementary school and high school educational curricula; and active social media outreach.
“Decide to Drive,” the award-winning distracted driving awareness program sponsored by the AAOS and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Auto Alliance), has an updated website that provides multiple opportunities for visitors to learn about, engage in, and advocate for safe driving.
The newly redesigned website (DecidetoDrive.org) allows visitors to do the following:
- share and rate distracted driving stories
- contribute to the social media discussion on distracted driving through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube
- participate in contests and events
- access videos and other “Decide to Drive” materials such as computer or mobile device wallpaper, public service announcements, educational components, and distracted driving facts and statistics
DecidetoDrive.org also enables safe-driving advocates to anonymously email the “Wreck-less Checklist” to friends, family members, or other drivers, to give them a “heads up” about their dangerous driving habits.
Student contest winners
The website also features the finalists and winning entries in the “Decide to Drive” national student distracted driving magazine contest.
In September 2013, “Decide to Drive” launched “Decide to Drive: A Student Advocacy Program,” a high school curriculum focused on the dangers of distracted driving. The curriculum was sent to approximately 200,000 high school teachers nationwide. When implemented in the classroom, the curriculum encouraged students to assess, observe, and record distracted driving in their own communities; to practice starting a conversation with drivers about their distracted driving behaviors through role playing; to research local laws and distracted driving incidences; and to examine and use national statistics on distracted driving.
The program culminated with a magazine contest, open to teams of three or four students in grades 9 through 12. Contest prizes included a tablet computer of choice for the teacher of the winning entries and cash prizes for the students on the first-, second-, and third-place winning teams ($1,000, $500, and $250 per student, respectively).
Nearly 400 teams from across the United States, involving more than 1,200 students, submitted magazine entries. Three winning entries were selected from 26 finalists. In first place was a team from Kamehameha High School in Pukalani, Hawaii. On April 4, 2014, Charles A. Soma, MD, of North Shore Orthopedics, Inc., Wailuku, Hawaii, presented the first-place team with their checks and their teacher with a Microsoft Surface 2 prize package.
Two teams from Centennial High School in Peoria, Ariz., captured second and third place. On March 20, 2014, Danton S. Dungy, MD, of The Dungy Orthopaedic Center in Chandler, Ariz., awarded cash prizes to the second- and third-place winning teams and presented two Apple iPads to the students’ teachers.
To celebrate and commemorate the winning entries, the Academy provided printed copies of the student-designed magazines for distribution to each student in each school, thereby magnifying the important lessons emphasized in the curriculum.
To view all of the finalist magazine entries, visit DecidetoDrive.org
Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, chairs the AAOS Communications Cabinet, whose mission is to plan, organize, direct, and evaluate AAOS communication vehicles, undertake special communications projects, provide public and media relations expertise to AAOS governance units, promote orthopaedics to internal and external audiences, and enhance the image of orthopaedic surgeons and the entire orthopaedic specialty.
Prevent distracted driving in your community!
- Visit the DecidetoDrive.org website.
- Speak to students and parents in your community about the dangers of distracted driving and/or volunteer to serve as a local spokesperson on distracted driving awareness by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send your patients to DecidetoDrive.org or invite them to share a distracted driving story on the site.
- “Like”the page on Facebook at Facebook.com/DecidetoDrive.org, or follow on Twitter at twitter.com/DecidetoDrive
- Order distracted driving awareness materials for your office at DecidetoDrive.org
- Write your own letter to the editor reminding teens and parents of the dangers of distracted driving, especially during the summer months.