Wrecked car display warns of driving dangers - East Valley Tribune: News

Wrecked car display warns of driving dangers

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Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2008 8:51 pm | Updated: 11:34 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The overturned black Kia Spectra lying at the edge of Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital's parking lot drew the attention of three women walking along Drinkwater Boulevard Thursday morning.

"What happened?" one of the women asked as she peered at the yellow police tape and small shards of broken glass around the mangled sedan.

The concerned reaction was exactly what Scottsdale Healthcare's trauma unit is hoping for.

"It's intended to heighten people's awareness. People are so busy, they don't take the time to stop and think, especially younger people who think they are invincible," said Vicki Bennett, Scottsdale Healthcare's trauma program manager.

The wreckage is part of the hospital's effort to raise awareness about trauma injuries and the dangers of drunken driving, especially during this prom and graduation season, as well as the approaching Memorial Day holiday.

The donated car, which went on display Tuesday, was the brainchild of the hospital's trauma staff, who witness a large number of what they describe as "preventable" crashes.

The wrecked car, which faces Drinkwater north of Osborn Road, is expected to be on display until the end of the month.

Osborn hospital, the East Valley's only Level 1 trauma center, treated about 3,600 trauma patients last year, according to hospital reports.

Of those, about 91 percent were blunt trauma injuries, which arise mainly from vehicle crashes, bicycle injuries and falls.

The other 9 percent involved penetrating injuries, which typically include gunshot and stab wounds.

Bennett said there are a number of common-sense measures motorists can take to keep themselves safe.

Those include wearing a seat belt, not running red lights and not engaging in distracting activities such as speaking on a cell phone while driving. And certainly not driving after drinking.

If the display gets people to think before getting into their cars, the campaign will be a success, Bennett said.

"Even reaching one person can make a difference," she said.

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