October 1997 Bulletin

Drive It Safe goes to school

Orthopaedists find students receptive to message

This spring, Jan O. Dahlin, MD, of Ontario, Ore., was busy in his community promoting the Drive It Safe public education program to students, hospital employees and civic groups. Dr. Dahlin is one of more than 100 Academy members who has recently requested the new Drive It Safe slide presentation.

"It is a way for me to be proactive in prevention issues," Dr. Dahlin said. "After each presentation, I leave knowing that I might have helped prevent some needless accidents from occurring in my community."

Dr. Dahlin's first presentation was to a driver's education class at his local high school. It was a success. "The students were very receptive to the Drive It Safe message of don't drink and drive, wear your safety belt and avoid speeding," Dr. Dahlin said. "I challenged the students to go out in the community and spread the Drive It Safe message, and I believe they will do it."

The students from the first driver's education class showed so much enthusiasm that Dr. Dahlin was asked to present the Drive It Safe slide show to other classes in his town. "The students really liked receiving the pledge cards. They were quick to sign them and put them in their wallets." (Each Drive It Safe slide presentation contains pledge cards that can be distributed to audience members. The cards ask recipients to pledge to wear safety belts, avoid speeding and never drink and drive.)

Dr. Dahlin also took the Drive It Safe message to the hospital where he is on staff. "I gave two presentations as part of our wellness programs," he said. "Each presentation drew an impressive crowd."

Academy fellow Thomas P. Nipper, MD, of Brookfield, Conn., also presented the Drive It Safe slide show to local high school students. More than 400 students have listened attentively as Dr. Nipper discussed the importance of driving safety. "It's a problem that affects everyone," Dr. Nipper said. "Whether you're of legal driving age or not, everyone understands the importance of the topic."

As part of his presentation, Dr. Nipper distributed pencils and key chains with the Drive It Safe logo and his practice's name to the students. "It is my way of reminding the audience about what they have just learned," he said.

Promoting traffic safety always has been important to Dr. Nipper because he has seen first-hand the tragedy caused by traffic crashes. "I work at a Level II trauma center, and I see many people admitted because they have made some very careless mistakes," he said.

To gain community support of the Drive It Safe message, Dr. Nipper invited the mayor of Danbury, Conn. to attend one of his presentations to endorse the program's theme. He also has plans to visit local Rotary Club meetings. "I have scheduled presentations during breakfast and luncheon meetings for the members," he said.

Every Drive It Safe slide set comes in a binder that includes script, fact sheets, brochures and pledge cards. Inside each binder's pocket is background information on national traffic safety statistics as well as state-specific traffic safety laws. The script was developed so that local information can be incorporated into every presentation.

The slide presentation is available to Academy members on a loan basis. It can be ordered by contacting Pat Julitz, AAOS, department of communications, (800) 346-2267, ext. 4123.

Reported by Cynthia Oertel,
communciations coordinator, Academy's department of communications.

Thomas P. Nipper, MD, left, and Mayor Gene Eriquez, Danbury, Conn. encourage community residents to Drive It Safe.

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