Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition unveils new technology to help prevent impaired driving
To drive home the dangers of drunk, drugged, drowsy and distracted driving during 4D Prevention Month in December, members of the Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition held a news conference on Dec. 4 to unveial new technology that simulates impaired and distracted driving. One Simple Decision, the simulation-based impaired and distracted driving program, is rolling out to teens taking part in Lee County’s Young Driver Safety Program. Held monthly at Lee Memorial Hospital, the Young Driver Program is a supplement to driver’s education courses designed to educate teens on driver responsibility, including the outcomes of irresponsible driving.
In addition, Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition members offer prevention tips and local statistics on injuries and death related to driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, as well as distracted and drowsy driving.
According to Syndi Bultman, RN, MS, CEN, Injury Prevention Manager for Lee Memorial Health System and Chairperson for Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition, injuries from motor vehicle crashes continue to be the No. 1 trauma alert at Lee Memorial Health System’s Trauma Center.
“As the holidays approach, more people will be on the roadways, rushing around to get ready for the holidays, attending holiday parties and traveling for holiday gatherings,” said Bultman. “It’s an especially important time to remind people of the dangers of drinking, drugs, distracted and drowsy driving.”
During the 2011 holidays, between Nov. 20 and Jan. 5, Lee Memorial Trauma Services treated more than 200 motor vehicle crash patients with six fatalities reported.
During the holiday season and year-round, take simple steps to avoid driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, while tired or distracted:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
- Designate a sober driver before drinking and give them the keys.
- Use a taxi, limo service, public transportation or call a sober friend or family member to get home safely.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, call local law enforcement.
- Don’t let friends drive drunk. Take their keys and help them make arrangements to get safely home.
- Get adequate rest, bring a friend or family member on long trips and take frequent breaks when driving on trips.
- If you need to take a call, pull over to a safe location until your phone call is completed.
The Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition has been working to prevent injuries in Lee County since 1995 under the auspices of the Lee County Health Department. Today the group is composed of more than 80 different health and safety agencies and experts. The coalition is a multi-disciplinary cooperative of private and public partners that include emergency medical services, fire and rescue agencies, law enforcement agencies, hospital outreach programs, health agencies, and public and private schools. This strong partnership provides increased resources, efficiency and consistent delivery of unified safety messages to the public. For more information, visit http://leecountyinjuryprevention.org/ or call 239-343-3797.