The National Safety Council estimates that 1.6 million car crashes each year result from cell phone use and texting while driving. In an effort to reduce this number, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association have come together in creating the “OMG” public service announcement and campaign, urging drivers never to text while driving.

As one of Chicago’s top orthopaedic trauma specialists, Hinsdale Orthopaedic’s Dr. Steven Louis treats people severely injured from serious car accidents. He has operated
on car accident victims who have been distracted while driving.

“With this technological communications breakthrough, we are using mobile phones more now than ever before. Unfortunately, as a result, orthopaedic surgeons are seeing an increasing number of trauma patients who are using mobile devices at the wrong place and time,” said Dr. Louis. “There is no such thing as a small distraction while driving and it is important to educate people that no phone call or text message is worth the risk.”
According to a study by Car and Driver magazine, a driver who is texting has a slower reaction time than an intoxicated driver. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that drivers take their eyes off the road for anywhere from 4.6 to 6 seconds while texting, making texting drivers 23 times more likely to get in a serious crash than non-texting drivers.

Texting is only one of the many distractions while driving in today’s high-tech vehicles that are equipped with DVD screens, GPS, CD and radio systems.
In accordance with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, Dr. Louis offers these tips to avoid being distracted while driving:
• Pull over to use a cell phone or at the very least, use a hands-free device
• Download a “safe driving” application or program a “driving” profile on your mobile phone to silence calls and turn off text alerts
• Program destination addresses into navigation before starting to drive
• Load CDs or program an MP3 playlist before starting to drive
• Use volume and station buttons on the steering wheel instead of reaching to the center counsel while listening to the radio

Dr. Louis performs surgeries for trauma patients and is also known for the direct anterior approach to hip replacement surgery. During the direct anterior approach, the surgeon avoids cutting muscle and tissue, which allows for quicker recuperation, less pain and shorter hospital stays. If you would like more information on this surgery, there is a downloadable brochure on his website at www.anterior-hip-surgery.com. If you would like to talk to Dr. Louis, please contact Sabina at 630-323-6116, ext. 7123.