Reporting Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– At Shock trauma, they’ve seen more than their share of lives shattered by distracted driving.
Alex DeMetrick reports, that’s prompted Shock Trauma to try some shock therapy.
It was a premiere at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) of a video depicting what has become an all too common accident triggered by distracted driving.
The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) joined Shock Trauma to create the video for driver training courses because of these accidents.
“Really just exploded over the last few years,” Dr. Thomas Scalea, chief physician at Shock Trauma at UMMC, said.
In Maryland alone, between 2007 and 2011, 152,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents and 1,100 were killed. Texting while driving is the most dangerous combination.
Now a primary offense, police have the power to pull over drivers texting or talking while behind the wheel.
“You cannot be on your phone at any time, whether you’re stopped at a red light or actually physically driving,” one police officer explained.
“Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for almost five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the entire length of a football field blindfolded,” MVA administrator John Kuo said.
And that football field isn’t empty.
“They run into things. They run into other cars, trees, poles, people, bicycles. So we see the whole array of injuries from this really preventable problem,” Dr. Scalea said.
And to make it more preventable, the video tries to open young eyes to the agony that can come from looking away.
While the video is aimed at young drivers, statistics show injuries and deaths from distracted driving spans the age range.