April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
To highlight the dangers of distracted driving in April and throughout the year, the AAOS re-released its "No Small Distractions" videos as public service announcements (PSAs) to television stations throughout the country. Last summer, "Decide to Drive," the Academy's distracted-driving awareness campaign, commissioned a series of social media-based videos that humorously but effectively emphasize how small distractions can pose big dangers to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. (You can view the videos on DecidetoDrive.org.)
Each video features an individual with an oversized distraction—a giant lipstick, smartphone, electric razor, steaming cup of coffee, or box of French fries—while the person with the object unsuccessfully tries to walk, ride a bike, or drive a pedicab. The segments conclude with the same individuals wielding real-size distractions while driving. The final message is sobering: Distractions behind the wheel may not be as small as they seem.
The videos have been watched more than 100,000 times via social media. Distributing these videos as television PSAs means more individuals will see and hear the Decide to Drive message, which continues to be relevant. In 2013, approximately 424,000 people were injured in distracted driving-related crashes in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
AAOS members can spread the distracted driving awareness message this month and throughout the year. Post one or more of the No Small Distractions videos on your personal or practice social media sites—Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram—along with the #NoSmallDistractions and #DecidetoDrive hashtags. On Twitter and Instagram, add @DecidetoDrive; on Facebook, use @DecidetoDrive.org
On your posts, ask your friends, family members, colleagues, and patients to share their most significant and frequent distractions.
Share your own common distractions while driving, as well as your plans to change your behavior.
Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, is chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet.