2020 Safety: Keeping you and your family hazard-free into new decade
Avoiding texting while driving, hand washing and even knowing the neighbors can help
If you are travelling at a speed of 55 miles an hour and you are texting, you will take your eyes off the road for approximately the length of a football field

Contact: media@bannerhealth.com

PHOENIX (Dec. 31, 2019) – Looking for ways to make 2020 a safe, healthy and stress-free year? Banner Health safety experts have seven simple ways to keep you, your family and your home safe for the upcoming year and well into the next decade.

“Avoiding texting while driving is one of my most important resolutions for everybody,’’ says Melissa Luxton, RN, injury-prevention coordinator for Banner Health. Luxton, who is based at Banner - University Medical Center Phoenix, works with colleagues at Banner Desert Medical Center and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center on trauma-prevention efforts.

Texting while driving is one of the most serious forms of distracted driving, she said.

“If you are travelling at a speed of 55 miles an hour and you are texting, you will take your eyes off the road for approximately the length of a football field,’’ Luxton said. “That’s a long way for something to happen.’’

Luxton’s hi-res b-roll/sound on tape is available.

Luxton gives these tips on how to stay safer in 2020:

  • Texting while driving: In 2017, there were more than 3,100 people in the U.S. who died because of distracted driving. At any given moment in the United States, about 660,000 drivers are manipulating electronic devices while driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Handwashing: “Handwashing is a great resolution to keep us healthy and safe for the new year,’’ Luxton says. Not only does handwashing reduce your chance of getting a cold or the flu, it can also help minimize your risk of getting sick from e.coli and the norovirus, according to the Centers for Disease and Control.
  •  Keeping medications locked up: “With the opioid crisis, it is now more important than ever we practice medication management,’’ she said. Securing medications and proper disposal of medications keeps you and your family safe.
  • Smoke detectors: Check your detectors once a month and assign a specific date to replace batteries, like New Year’s Day, Halloween or a birthday, Luxton says.
  • Air quality in the home: Replace air filters regularly.
  • Escape plan: Families should have an escape plan for their own homes. “Fire escape plans: our kids are really good at doing them at school and we practice them at our jobs, but we don’t practice them at home,’’ says Luxton.
  • Know your neighbors: Who are you going to call in case of a minor household mishap? Good neighbors can help out.

About Banner Health

Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns and operates 28 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services; including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com.