Published 10/1/2016
Alan S. Hilibrand, MD

Spread the Word About the Dangers of Distracted Driving, Walking

AAOS offers free easel/bookmark displays
In 2009, AAOS launched the "Decide to Drive" program to educate children, teens, and adults about the dangers of distracted driving. Last year, AAOS expanded its injury-prevention efforts to include distracted walking with the "Digital Deadwalkers" campaign.

Both campaigns are highlighted in public service announcements (PSAs), airing on television stations throughout the country, that humorously—yet effectively—highlight the dangers of drivers and pedestrians not focusing on getting where they need to go. The campaigns and messages were also featured at the Distraction City exhibit during the 2016 AAOS Annual Meeting in Orlando. Meeting attendees—members, exhibitors, and staff—posed amid the streets and buildings of the Distraction City display holding oversized props of French fries, a coffee cup, shaving razor, and lipstick. More than 200 visitors had their photo taken at Distraction City, agreeing to complete the sentence: "Engage! Be distraction-free to …" The photos were then shared over social media with the hashtags #NoSmallDistractions, #DecidetoDrive, and #DigitalDeadwalkers.

Continue the conversation
Today, the Academy is urging members to continue the distraction conversation with their patients. Four easels—featuring distracted driving or pedestrian injury prevention tip bookmarks—are available free to members to place in their offices or clinics. To access these AAOS Public Relations resources, simply visit the "Store" at aaos.org, or http://bit.ly/1X8Fk78 and click "show all" at the bottom of the page.

We also encourage AAOS members to do the following to spread distracted driving and distracted walking awareness:

  • Post one or more of the No Small Distractions videos on personal or practice social media sites—Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram—along with the #NoSmallDistractions and #DecidetoDrive hashtags. The videos are available on the Academy's YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/AmerAcadOrthoSurg) and at DecidetoDrive.org; on Twitter and Instagram, add @DecidetoDrive; on Facebook, use @DecidetoDrive.org
  • Post the "Digital Deadwalkers" PSA on social media (also available on the AAOS YouTube channel and the AAOS Newsroom) along with the #DigitalDeadwalker hashtag.
  • Ask friends, family members, colleagues, and patients to share their most significant and frequent distractions on your posts.
  • Share your own common distractions while walking or driving, as well as plans to change your behavior.

For more information and resources on distracted driving and distracted walking, visit DecidetoDrive.org and OrthoInfo.aaos.org/DistractedPedestrians

Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, chairs the AAOS Communications Cabinet.