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St. Vincent Healthcare hosts a workshop on distracted driving



Billings, Montana – Every year, April is designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, educating people about driving safety and raising their awareness of it.

Driving distractions can take many different forms, including using a phone, adjusting the car’s temperature, eating, or conversing with other passengers, but they can also be fatal.

The National Institute of Health claims that using a phone while driving while distracted reduces brain activity by one-third.

Over 8% of all crash fatalities in Montana in 2019 were attributed to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration.

The most effective strategy to reduce distractions while driving, according to St. Vincent Healthcare’s Trauma Outreach and Injury Prevention Coordinator Eric Fisher, is to use technology.

“I am a really big believer in that technology is a really big friend to the driver now and I know it has saved a lot of lives…everything from lane assist to people in vehicles and such like that it has saved us a lot. If you have a cell phone that’s going off. If you realize that you are going to try to answer it, put it someplace where you are not going to or put it into driving mode,” explained Fisher.

He added that the next safe driving session is only one of several that they hold annually to encourage the community to drive safely.

“We have golf carts out there and we have a concourse with stop signs and such. You come in and you go through it once without distractions, the second time you go through with the distractions of a cell phone where we ask you questions where we engage you physically as well as cognitively on there and then the last time you do it with a set of drunk goggles and we basically look at that and it’s an opportunity to kind of see how much of a vulnerability these things are for you,” added Fisher.

The public is invited to attend the event, which will be held at Rimrock Mall on May 6 from 11 am to 2 pm.

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