Text U L8R.At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. According to an AT&T survey, 43 percent of teens and around 50 percent of adults admit to texting and driving despite the fact that nearly all of those surveyed admitted to knowing its wrong.

The UVM Medical Center Injury Prevention program is working with community partners to educate the youth population about the dangers of texting and driving. Along with our distracted driving partners, the UVM Medical Center will host its “Txt U L8R” program on Tuesday, October 20, 6-7:30PM during National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 19-25). Students from driver’s education courses and their parents will be in attendance. Key elements include a demonstration of the UVM Medical Center advanced distracted driving simulator, presentation of a realistic trauma scenario, a testimonial from the victim of an accident caused by a teen driver who was texting, and a demonstration of smartphone apps designed to prevent texting while driving.

In addition to our Txt U L8R program, we are working with Vtrans, Vermont State Police, and the Highway Safety Alliance to spread the word about the Vermont law banning hand held devices while driving. The new law makes it very clear that: “A person shall not use a hand held portable electronic device while operating a moving motor vehicle on a highway.” Violations may result in fines of $100-$500.

Keep in mind, the smartest and safest thing to do is to put your phone down and keep your head up while driving!

To register online for the program, please visit www.UVMHealth.org/MedCenterHealthSource , email Healthsource@UVMHealth.org , or call our new Healthsource phone line at (802)-847-7222..

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