Nearly 40,000 fans watched the Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Indians at Target Field in Minneapolis on April 23. Many of those fans also stopped at the Texting and Driving information booth sponsored by Mayo Clinic.
D. Dean Potter, M.D., director of the Pediatric Trauma Center, headed the team working at the game. "Mayo's commitment to the Twin Cities community includes patient education," says Dr. Potter. Target Field is the perfect place to pitch the dangers of texting while driving."
Information offered by Mayo staff focuses on the serious outcomes that may result when drivers are inattentive. Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Using a cellphone while driving, whether it's hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
The exhibit includes a simulator that allows people to experience possible outcomes of texting while driving without actually hurting themselves. "The audience for this message is huge," says Dr. Potter. "Essentially, it's anyone who has a cellphone. We talked with more than 100 people at the ballpark, and many more people took information away with them."