For Immediate Release
Natifia Mullings, Public Relations Coordinator
ÛÏIf YouÛªre Distracted, WeÛªre ImpactedÛ is this yearÛªs theme for National Trauma Awareness Month and to help spread the message about the seriousness of distractions, Jamaica HospitalÛªs Trauma Division recently set up a distracted driving community education display.
Jamaica HospitalÛªs Trauma Team distributed literature to hospital employees and visitors to help educate them on the dangers of distracted driving and how to stay safe.
ÛÏThere are many dangers while driving,Û said Mark Dekki, MPA, Community Educator, Trauma Services at Jamaica Hospital. ÛÏNot only does a distracted driver jeopardize their own life, but the lives of those in the car with them, as well as the lives of other drivers who are sharing the road and the lives of pedestrians.Û
Distracted driving is characterized as any activity that could divert a personÛªs attention away from the primary task of driving. These actions can include eating, applying make-up, playing loud music, talking to passengers, and texting while driving, which over the last few years has become a major distraction.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16% of fatal crashes and 20% of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. In general, distracted driving contributes to up to 8,000 crashes every single day. Additionally, at any given moment during the daylight hours, over 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a handheld cell phone. Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
ÛÏDistracted driving is one of the leading causes of death in Queens,Û explained Dekki. ÛÏIt is our greatest hope that the organization of this informational event gave people a better understanding of the dangers of being a distracted driver and was impactful enough to encourage change in their behavior.Û
As a Level 1 Trauma Center, Jamaica Hospital saw 717 trauma patients in its emergency room in 2012, of which 82 were pedestrians struck and 108 were motor vehicle traumas.
The National Trauma Institute reports that each year, trauma accounts for 42 million emergency department visits and two million hospital admissions across the nation. Furthermore, trauma injury accounts for 30% of all life years lost in U.S., more than cancer, heart disease, and HIV. In fact, the impact on life years lost is equal to the life years lost from cancer, heart disease and HIV combined.
To avoid becoming a trauma statistic, Dekki offers the following to drivers: ÛÏstaying safe on the road is simple: turn off all electronic devices, apply all make-up before you get in the car, and eat meals and snacks before you get behind the wheel.Û
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center serves a population greater than 1.2 million in Queens and eastern Brooklyn. This 424-bed medical center is an accredited community teaching hospital with a large network of community-based ambulatory care centers. JHMC offers an array of acute inpatient, rehabilitation and mental health services, and is one of the busiest Level 1 trauma centers in New York City. The hospital provides general medical, pediatric, and dental services, in addition to home health services. Jamaica Hospital Medical CenterÛªs mission is to serve patients and the community in a way that is second to none. For additional information, please contact Public Affairs at 718-206-6020.