Avoid Distractions

As the school year comes to an end, we are all reminded of our accomplishments. We all have much to celebrate: successful school years, work accomplishments, a new summer job or opportunities, heading off to college…. No matter what the reason for celebration, we all look forward to an enjoyable summer to relax and enjoy. One thing I know we are all grateful for is our health and safety.

As we talk about safety, a lot comes to mind – wearing sunblock, bug spray, swimmer’s safety, dating safety, avoiding poison ivy, making sure vaccines are up-to-date before heading off to camp or college, preventing sports injuries, avoiding dehydration, … the list goes on! We all should be prepared to go about our summer plans and stay healthy, happy, and incident/accident free. As you make your checklist of must-haves and to-dos, consider adding one more thing that is essential to your safety and well-being – AVOID DISTRACTIONS.

Distracted Driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. Distractions while driving include cell phone usage, texting and driving, or eating and drinking while driving.

According to the CDC and Distraction.gov:

  • In 2010, nearly one in five car crashes where someone was injured (18%), distracted driving was involved.
  • 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
  • Texting while driving creates a crash risk 23x worse than driving while not distracted.
  • A single text (sent or received) takes a driver’s eyes off the road for the equivalent of (at 55mph) the length of a football field…blind.
  • Nearly one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 9 killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians

The RAHS Scarlett Youth Advisory Council (YAC) recently participated in an initiative led by the University of Michigan Trauma Prevention unit. The initiative involved the 10 Scarlett YAC members holding a poster contest to motivate their peers and bring awareness to preventable accidents related to distractions.

These youth also creatively produced a short film, including school staff interviews, of the perceived risks of texting/cell phone use while doing other things, such as driving, walking, or multitasking. They acted out scenarios where teens were injured because they were distracted by electronic devices while doing regular activities. Although the film was comical at times, the seriousness of preventable accidents and injuries was brought to light for these students and their peers.

Please be safe this summer……….

  • Think before you text.
  • Turn your cell phone off when driving.
  • Turn down your music in your ear buds when you are a pedestrian.
  • Avoid using electronic devices when you are a pedestrian.

For more information visit:

http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/Pedestrian_safety/

http://nophonezonepledge.org/

http://www.causes.com/itcanwait

http://surgery.med.umich.edu/pediatric/trauma/injuryprevent/

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