Memorial Hermann Life Flight® working with novel mobile app to reduce distracted driving motor vehicle collisions in Greater Houston Area
HOUSTON, Texas -- Memorial Hermann Life Flight® is working with the SAFE 2 SAVE mobile app to reward drivers who put their mobile devices down and keep their eyes on the road. The sponsorship is part of Memorial Hermann Health System’s ongoing educational and targeted prevention efforts to drive change in behaviors and reverse the startling rise in distracted driving motor vehicle collisions in the Greater Houston Area.
Deaths related to distracted driving motor vehicle collisions rose 62 percent in Harris County from 2016 to 2017, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. In 2017, more than 19 percent of motor vehicle collisions in Texas involved distracted driving, resulting in 444 deaths and more than 2,800 serious injuries, according to TxDOT. A local publication recently labeled the Greater Houston Area’s driving conditions as the country’s most distracted and deadliest, based on its analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
Many distracted driving motor vehicle collisions are preventable.
“Part of our role as trusted providers of high-quality trauma care for our community is to educate and empower people across the region to change behaviors that cause preventable traumas,” said Tom Flanagan, Vice President of Trauma Service Line and System Integration at Memorial Hermann. “We are tapping into the technology that has become such a large part of people’s lives and coincidentally, a major part of distracted driving.”
Memorial Hermann will serve as the presenting sponsor of SAFE 2 SAVE in the Houston market. SAFE 2 SAVE rewards drivers for not using mobile devices while driving. For every minute a driver does not touch their mobile device while driving, they receive points that can be redeemed at select Houston area businesses such as Chick-fil-A®, Papa John’s Pizza®, Dave & Buster’s® and Rooftop Cinema Club®.
“We are thrilled to partner with Memorial Hermann Life Flight® on bringing SAFE 2 SAVE to the Houston market,” said Marci Cory, Owner & Founder of SAFE 2 SAVE. “With this partnership we hope to reach every Houstonian and serve as a driving force in reversing the rising trend of distracted driving impacting the Houston, Harris County and surrounding areas.”
On average, one-third of the patients who come to Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in the country, are involved in motor vehicle, auto-pedestrian or bicycle collisions. Red Duke Trauma Institute has engaged students and adults in the Houston community through distracted driving prevention education programs for nearly a decade, including:
- Live Your DREAMS - A safety program tailored for high-school students that uses education and engagement of safe driving behaviors to reduce impaired and distracted driving.
- Impaired Driving Simulators - In partnership with the Houston Fire Department, Memorial Hermann offers simulators that are used to give users a firsthand, virtual reality experience of impaired driving.
- Driving Change Pledge - An oath all Houstonians are encouraged to take to reduce distractions while driving.
“We see so many patients involved in motor vehicle collisions that are often caused by some distraction or impairment,” said Michelle McNutt, MD, Chief of Trauma at the Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-TMC and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “If we can change the behaviors of Houstonians, we can help reduce the number of friends and families who experience the devastating toll these preventable collisions take on the community.”
Learn more about the distracted driving initiatives at Memorial Hermann.