More than 3,300 people were killed in 2011, and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver, according to separate National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration data. In 2010, motor vehicle crashes caused 36 percent of the fatalities in Texas trauma centers and transportation-related injuries are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury among individuals ages 15 to 64.
At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. Although cell phones are a major culprit, anything that takes your mind and attention away from your driving is a distraction.
Recognizing the importance of Texas EMS and trauma professionals speaking out on the dangers of distracted driving, the Injury Prevention and Pediatric Divisions of TETAF selected this as the focus for the organization’s 2013-14 injury prevention campaign. Since that time, TETAF has continued to support this important initiative through both education and action at the Texas Capitol.
TETAF has developed a statewide pledge drive to challenge communities to pledge to not drive while distracted. By asking leaders as well as community members to “take the pledge,” the goal is to bring awareness to the dangers of distracted driving and encourage both teen and adult drivers to eliminate all distractions and “Just Drive.”
To implement the pledge drive in local communities, sample materials are provided here. A Step-by-Step Guide will help you create a local pledge drive campaign. The Idea Sheet provides suggestions for local activities/events to get your community involved. Modify the suggested timeline to make the dates coincide with your pledge drive. Local drives may be scheduled at any time that is convenient for the schools/community, and the timeline may provide guidance. For more information please contact Robin Garza, RN.
A first step is contacting school and community leaders to gain their support for the pledge drive and generate conversation. Contact these possible target audiences:
Sample letters to facilitate making contact are provided. Then, message dissemination needs to occur. Use distribution channels appropriate for your community to make sure the public hears about the pledge drive and knows how to participate. TETAF has posted downloadable news releases, articles and social media messages as well as the actual pledge forms. See the Pledge Drive Materials on the right.