Barnes-Jewish, MO Highway Patrol Speak Out Against Distracted Driving
Representatives from trauma services at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Missouri Highway Patrol spoke out today about the increase in fatalities resulting from mobile phone use while driving and the dangers of distracted driving. Also joining them at the press conference in our Center for Advanced Medicine was a University of Missouri professor who lost her son in a “distracted driving” crash.
Such incidents are on the rise. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 20% of all injury accidents in 2009 were due to distracted driving with a dramatic increase in fatal accidents from 10% in 2005 to 16% in 2009. Much of the increase is attributed to the growing use of texting in the U.S., which has increased from just over 12 billion monthly texts in 2006 to over 196 billion texts in 2011.
“Studies say texting and driving can cause you to react eight times slower than when someone has a .08 blood alcohol level,” said Douglas Schuerer, MD, Washington University trauma surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “We have the largest trauma center in Missouri, and we see time and time again that texting and driving is actually more dangerous than drinking and driving.”
In addition, Dr. Lori Popejoy, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, tearfully spoke about the death of her 16-year-old son Adam in a distracted driving accident.
We encourage everyone to visit www.distraction.gov to find out how you can get involved.
For more about the dangers of texting and driving, watch this video with our Dr. Schuerer: