Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, MBA


Published 3/1/2018
Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, MBA

Promote the Academy's Safe Driving Message with Your Patients and Community

AAOS offers free Decide to Drive posters, postcards, bookmarks, and videos

Nearly 8 years ago, the Academy launched the Decide to Drive distracted driving awareness campaign with the message: "Behind the wheel, there is no such thing as a small distraction." The campaign, in partnership with the Auto Alliance, has won numerous awards, received hundreds of media placements, and helped to spotlight the dangers of distracted driving.

As orthopaedic surgeons who treat these injuries, we have a responsibility to foster an ongoing conversation about the dangers of distracted driving, defined as any activity that diverts your eyes and hands away from operating your car and getting to where you need to go safely. This can include sending texts or emails on your phone, eating and drinking, or fiddling with entertainment or navigation systems.

It is likely that at some point each of us has operated a car while distracted. And yet the consequences of this behavior can be devastating. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, approximately nine people are killed each day and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. In 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

The Academy offers free Decide to Drive tools and resources that enable you to share, replay, and reinforce the distracted driving message in your office, on your website or social media pages, and/or in your community. These tools and resources include the following:

  • Posters and postcards—Four distracted driving public service announcement (PSA) advertisements available as posters, and in limited quantities, postcards.
  • Bookmark displays—Easels, including bookmark take-aways with distracted driving safety tips.
  • content—The official Decide to Drive website——includes the latest distracted driving news and social media posts, educational materials, and the Wreck-less Checklist Safe Driving Tips (featuring an online form to anonymously send to someone you know who drives distracted). In addition, the website offers downloadable videos: six "No Small Distractions" videos, the "Froggy" video PSA, and a Decide to Drive introductory video. The No Small Distractions video series humorously, but effectively, highlights how the smallest every day activities—from shaving or putting on lipstick, to using a cell phone and eating or drinking—are big distractions while driving.

You can order one or more of these resources, free of charge, at You can also download the videos on line at or share them on your practice social media accounts or practice website.

Thank you for your support of the Decide to Drive campaign through the years.

Moving on
Unfortunately, my tenure as chair of the Communications Cabinet will end with the conclusion of the 2018 Annual Meeting in March. However, I look forward to passing the baton of leadership to Jennifer Weiss, MD, a colleague whom I deeply admire and trust.

Dr. Weiss trained in orthopaedic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and went on to a fellowship in pediatric orthopaedics at the University of Southern California. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente in 2011, she practiced at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Santa Monica Orthopaedic Group as director of the Pediatric Sports Program. She has served as a member-at-large on the AAOS Board of Directors, as a fellow and mentor for the Leadership Fellows Program, and most recently as a member-at-large on the Communications Cabinet.

It's been an honor and a privilege to serve as chair of the Communications Cabinet for the past 4 years, and I am proud of the work we have achieved. We have promoted the credibility and expertise of orthopaedic surgeons as the authoritative experts in bone and joint health to the public, our patients, media, and other key external stakeholders. The Cabinet has also served as a conduit for member communications, sharing Academy news and developments with our surgeons, while also reporting back to leadership on member concerns, interests, and views. I am confident that Dr. Weiss and the Cabinet will continue this important work.

If you have ideas about future communications programs and initiatives, please contact Dr. Weiss at or AAOS Communications Director Melissa Leeb at or by phone at 847-384-4030.

Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, MBA, is chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet.