Finally, as we are talking about services to the community that can help us do our jobs better on the news this week, I found this article based on a report in the journal Public Health Reports about the increased dangers from distracted drivers. This is another area we can provide education and prevention efforts for our communities.

Distracted Driving Not Stigmatized

wreck_it_fbAccording to the journal article, the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists killed by distracted drivers in the U.S. has increased by 50 percent in a five year period. Distracted driving includes not just cell phone or texting while driving but also fiddling with your GPS and eating behind the wheel. Most of the victims are males and most of these incidents occur in broad daylight when these victims should be easier to see on the roads.

The authors note that while seat belt use and other driving safety measures are more widely accepted, the dangers of distracted driving is not as stigmatized by the drivers and passengers out there. This affects us as we respond in our ambulances. EMTs and paramedics around the country are viewing the aftermath of distracted driving accidents all the time. Perhaps it’s time we become more active in our efforts to curb this behavior in our areas.

There are a lot of prevention resources out there for us to use. Check out the website over at distraction.gov posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There are downloads, Facebook avatars, posters, video and audio public service announcements for local TV and radio stations, all available over at the site. There are resources for parents, teens, employers and more. Check out the site at Distraction.gov and make use of the resources on your company website and in your community outreach programs.

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Follow-up on the link for this and other news items as well as all of the additional resource links in the show notes for this episode – Molly, N-Bomb, Synthetic Drugs and Episode 365.

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