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Decide to Save Lives

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On: Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 4:10PM | By: Karen Cook

Decide to Save Lives

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,328 people were killed and another 421,000 were injured in accidents caused by distracted driving in 2012. The numbers from 2013 are not available yet, but with the number of electronic devices growing it seems likely that those numbers will rise. If you know someone who is guilty of not keeping their eyes on the road, but you don’t feel comfortable reprimanding them for it, you might want to check out a new website called Decide to Drive at www.decidetodrive.org.

The site allows users to send an anonymous email to friends and family which will tip them off that their behavior has been noticed. The email contains a list of “Wreck-Less” driving tips including getting your seat adjusted properly, queuing up your music, and preloading destinations in your navigation system BEFORE beginning to drive the vehicle. It also includes reminders for not applying make-up, changing clothes or, of course, texting or making phone calls.

The site also gives the opportunity to share stories of distracted driving, take part in contests and events, join discussions via social media, watch videos, and view distracted driving statistics, such as the one cited above and a rather frightening one which shows that at any given daylight moment 660,000 drivers are operating electronic devices while they are operating a moving vehicle.

The site is sponsored by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. According to a statement issued by AAOS President Frederick M Azar, MD, “The new website provides visitors with more reasons and reminders to stay focused on the road, and the tools to encourage their friends and family members to do so as well. It’s a place where the conversation can start, and hopefully will continue in communities throughout the US.”

A survey done by Decide to Drive revealed that 94% of responders believe distracted driving is a problem and 89% have seen it in their own communities. To conquer this problem we must all recognize it and be proactive in stopping it. Come on, people, start some conversations with those you love. It may save lives.


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