Hicks Makes Announcements of
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
With technology at their fingertips, drivers are constantly faced with distractions such as talking or texting, which placed their safety and that of others at serious risk. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is launching the Talk. Text, Crash. campaign to encourage Texans to put down their cell phones while driving.
Distracted driving is becoming increasingly common and dangerous, causing traffic crashes and fatalities. Nearly one in four crashes involves driver distraction. In 2011 alone, over 81,000 Texas crashes involved distraction in the vehicle, driver inattention, or cell phone use, according to TxDOT. Sadly, 361 of those crashes were fatal.
Drivers can be distracted by conversing with other passengers, eating, smoking, manipulating dashboard controls, reaching for something in the vehicle, and talking or texting on a cell phone. Cell phone use is one of the most common distractions. At any given moment during the daylight hours, over 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2009, 3,308 crashes in Texas were attributed to cell phone use, and 41 of those were fatal.
Teen drivers are more likely than other age groups to be involved in a fatal crash where distraction is reported. In Texas, 46 percent of urban teens and 52 percent of rural teens talk on a cell phone while driving, and nearly the same percentage text while driving. Drivers do not realize the dangers they are posing when they take their eyes and minds off the road and their hands off the wheel.
The Talk. Text. Crash. campaign aims to reduce distracted driving, not only for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but throughout the year. Texas AgriLife Extension joins TxDOT in reminding drivers to put away their cell phones and wait until they arrive at their destination to use the phone. Although cell phone use is the most easily recognized distraction, all in-vehicle distractions are unsafe and can cause crashes.
Focus on safety!
Kids Safe Saturday Reminder
Since we're on the subject of safety, don't forget the 12th annual Kids' Safe Saturday event, Saturday, April 21, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Buford Park. Learn about bicycle and auto safety, home safety, water and sun safety, say NO to drugs, and much more! This free event is open to families with children ages 12 and under. Free hot dogs, beverages, and ice cream will be provided until they run out. Games and prizes will be given. Be sure to stop by the Texas AgriLife Extension exhibit to make a UV bead bracelet and watch it turn colors when exposed to the sun! Several Hopkins County agencies, organizations, and businesses have made this annual event possible, so be sure to say "thanks" at each of the exhibits.
Taking the Mystery Out of Diabetes
I realize that this conference has been mentioned before, but I want to re-emphasize the quality information that will be given! This is the 2nd annual Regional Diabetes Conference, open to anyone wanting to learn more about diabetes management. The event will take place on Tuesday, May 1st, at First Baptist Church, Sulphur Springs, with sign-in from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. The conference will kick off at 9:00 a.m. with our keynote speaker, Dr. Carol Rice.
Exhibits, cooking and physical activity demonstrations, catered lunch, concurrent sessions, and gift bags will also be included in the conference. Participants may choose two concurrent sessions from the following: Got Questions? Get Answers (Basics of Diabetes); Insulin Use - Type 1 & Type 2; Wise Dining; Diabetes Medications; Wound Care/Foot Care; and Signs & Symptoms/Other Diseases (high blood pressure & cholesterol, celiac disease, and others). Gifts pertaining to the demonstrations will be given to each participant during lunch.
Certificates for 6 clock hours will be given to those in the education or health care field.
The cost of the conference is $25. Registration must be postmarked on or before April 20th. Registration brochures are available at the Hopkins County Extension Office, (1200 W. Houston, Sulphur Springs), Southwest Dairy Museum, Wound Care Clinic, Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, and First Baptist Church. Forms may also be downloaded from http://hopkins.agrilife.org. (Click on the link near the top of the page.)
I've learned that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile - Andy Rooney
Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed.
Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
1200-B W. Houston
P.O. Box 518
Sulphur Springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 - phone
903-439-4909 - fax