8600 Old Georgetown Road | Bethesda, MD 20814
Suburban Hospital Launches "Just Hang It Up" Campaign
Contact: Susan Laine
; 301-896-3612 ; slaine@suburbanhospital.org

Bethesda, MD (September 20, 2010) – As Maryland gears up for a new law that goes into effect on October 1, making it illegal to hold a handheld device while driving, Suburban Hospital has launched its own campaign against distracted driving, called Just Hang it Up! Suburban Hospital is the Level 2 Trauma Center for Montgomery County.


“Using a cell phone while driving makes you four times more likely to get into a serious crash,” says Dr. Dany Westerband, director of Trauma Services at Suburban. “Our doctors and nurses see first hand the devastation that can result from crashes where distracted driving is suspected.  We are urging everyone in the community to put their handheld devices away while they are driving and put two hands on the wheel.”


According to the Regional Highway Safety Campaign, in Maryland during a 10-year period between 1999-2008, 1,319 people have died and 14,000 people are injured annually in inattentive driving crashes.


The Suburban campaign will raise awareness about this potentially deadly action by inviting the community to complete an online pledge stating that they will not hold their phone, talk or text while driving. Each person who signs the pledge at www.suburbanhospital.org/pledge will be added to the online “Just Hang It Up” scroll on the Suburban Hospital Web site.  According to Dr. Westerband, Suburban Hospital staff had the opportunity to sign the pledge first and the response was overwhelming.  In the first 24 hours of the campaign, more than 100 employees signed the pledge.  “As a hospital and a trauma center, we want to set a standard for the rest of the community,” says Dr. Westerband. 


The public can sign the pledge online or visit Suburban Hospital’s table at Bethesda’s annual Back to Bethesda event on Saturday, October 2.


Suburban Hospital is launching its campaign just days before the Department of Transportation holds its second annual distracted driving summit in Washington, D.C. The event begins at 8am ET on Tuesday, September 21, and will be Webcast at http://www.distraction.gov/.


About Suburban Hospital

Suburban Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, is a not-for-profit, community-based hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, that has served Montgomery County and the surrounding area for more than 65 years. Suburban Hospital is distinguished by a cutting-edge stroke program; level II trauma center; centers of excellence in cardiac care, orthopedics and joint replacement surgery, neurosciences and oncology; state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment tools; and affiliations with world-class institutions, including the neighboring National Institutes of Health.  ###



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