The Dangers of Texting While Driving

Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) are one of the leading causes of death in the United States today. Each year, nearly 2.5 million Americans are treated in hospital emergency departments as a result of an MVA.  While the numbers are staggering, Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Team wants everyone to know that most vehicle-related injuries are avoidable.

Jamaica Hospital operates a Level 1 Trauma Center, the highest designation to treat critically injured patients. Last year, Jamaica Hospital’s ER treated over 500 patients injured as a result motor vehicle accidents and the staff wants to offer the following tip to our community on how to avoid serious injury.

Stay Focused on the Road and Avoid Becoming a “Distracted Driver.”

Each day, more than 15 people are killed in accidents involving a distracted driver, a driver engaged in another activity that distracts them while driving.  Distractions can impair a driver in three ways:

• Visually  – Forcing the driver to take his or her eyes off the road
• Manually – Forcing the driver to take his or her hands off of the steering wheel
• Cognitively – Forcing the driver to take his or her mind off of driving while they are doing something else

While there are many forms of distractions for drivers, the type that has seen the largest increase in occurrences is texting while driving.  Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it impairs the driver’s visual, manual, and cognitive abilities. In a recent study by the CDC, 9% of U.S. drivers reported texting or emailing regularly or fairly often while driving.

Last year, nearly 6,000 people died and approximately another 500,000 were injured in automobile accidents that were reported to involve a distracted driver – and the numbers are steadily rising. 

Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Team is well aware of the growing trend involving injuries and fatalities associated with texting and driving and they want to warn drivers on the road to resist the urge to text OMG or LOL or you might end up DOA!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.