Distracted driving simulation event tallies texting's potential destruction

The Division of Pediatric Surgery's inaugural distracted driving open house proved to "drivers" that even a moment’s inattention can lead to disaster. The event was held Monday, April 6, 2015, in the Children’s Hospital lobby.

Distracted driving simulation event tallies texting's potential destruction click to enlarge Lynne Farber (L) and Amy Marzinsky (R)

To emphasize the importance of safe driving, the UNC Division of Pediatric Surgery and volunteers from the Pediatric Trauma Multidisciplinary committee brought a high-tech simulator to the lobby of the N.C. Children's Hospital on Monday, April 6, to show teens and adults how dangerous distractions while driving can be. The outreach project was initiated by the American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association (APSNA) Trauma SIG. (View coverage of Monday's event by ABC 11 NewsWRAL and The Herald Sun.)

"We were very excited to have the simulator," says Lynne Farber, nurse practitioner and assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Pediatric Surgery, who helped organize the event. "So many people participated to educate families on the dangers of texting and driving. We hope that we made an impact on at least one person."

Farber and colleague Amy Marzinsky, clinical research coordinator in the Division of Pediatric Surgery, spent three months finding vendors, volunteers and funding for the event. 

"We're very thankful for the help of the Children’s Promise and Volunteer Services," says Marzinsky. "It turned into something bigger than we could have hoped for." 

Facts about distracted driving:

  • Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving and is one of the leading causes of serious accidents across the country.
  • The average amount of time your eyes are off the road while texting is five seconds 
  • When texting and traveling at 55 mph, you can cover the length of a football field