Monday April 6, 2015

PHI launches awareness campaign against texting while driving

PHI Air Medical Press Release

LEXINGTON — PHI Air Medical announced today a nationwide effort to educate and raise awareness in local communities they serve on the dangers and challenges surrounding texting while driving, an increasingly important and unfortunately common issue of today.

“As the beginning of the spring and summer seasons approach and many events such as graduations and proms are upon us, hectic and busy schedules often lead to distracted minds, instead of mindful and focused ones,” explains Matthew Ishmael, Program Director for PHI Air Medical. “Our focus with the Thumbs Down, Eyes Up distracted driving campaign this year is to arm the communities we serve, people of all ages and backgrounds, with the facts of this mostly preventable issue. Through distribution of supporting materials and partnerships with local events within our communities, we hope to get people to be mindful while driving and to stop texting while driving. We want to ultimately help to prevent these accidents our crews see first-hand, all too often.”

The facts on driving while distracted in this country are startling:
• At any given daylight moment in the US, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
• Talking on a cell phone quadruples your risk of an accident, about the same as if you were driving drunk. That risk doubles again if you are texting.
• Distraction contributes to 16% of all fatal crashes, leading to around 5,000 deaths each year.

“Our crews have seen an increasing number of calls to scenes that involve vehicle accidents due to someone using their phone, texting or otherwise, while driving. Our crews are the ones at the scene providing critical care for these patients and we strongly believe we have a responsibility to provide as much support and education as possible in the communities we serve,” continued Ishmael.

The campaign will run throughout the months of April and May through a variety of local events, traditional and social media messaging and community-wide grassroots efforts.