In an effort to make our roads safer, Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) announced today that they have joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign to stop distracted driving. OCAHS has pledged their support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.
This effort is in tandem with the county-wide “Put It Down” Campaign conducted by Community Health Partners of Sioux County, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, and the Iowa State Patrol, which includes public education through displays, public service announcements, and school presentations.
OCAHS staff and visitors will be reminded to “turn your phone off when you start your car” via on-site posters, signage, newsletters, and other communication methods about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while driving. In 2009 alone, nearly 5,500 people were killed and a half million more were injured in distracted driving crashes. That same year, 20 percent of injury crashes involved reports of distracted driving. While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive.
The national distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education – the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use.
Orange City Area Health System’s goal with this campaign is simple – save lives by getting drivers to remember that “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.” For more information about distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov.