Should Doctors Prevent Texting While Driving?

June 15, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an essay where the writing doctor recommended that family doctors begin asking their patients whether they text and drive or talk on their cellphones while driving.

A recent essay in The New England School of Medicine suggests that doctors should begin asking their patients whether they drive while texting or talking on a mobile phone.  The doctor, Dr. Amy Ship, reports that family physicians routinely ask patients whether they engage in dangerous or risky behavior such as smoking, watching their diet, or remembering to fasten their seat belt.  Dr. Ship believes that asking about distracted driving should be incorporated into these risk questions.

Distracted driving–whether by talking on a cellphone or texting while driving–is certainly a problem, particularly amongst teenagers and inexperienced drivers.  That is why our San Diego personal injury law firm helps sponsor the Teens Against Distracted Driving program where teenagers and their parents can take a pledge not to text and drive.

But can asking regarding dangerous behavior be effective to making patients safer?  Is it the place of medical doctors to take on the issue of texting while driving as a preventative medicine issue?  Is it too much of an intrusion into individual behavior to have primary car physicians ask about their patients’ personal behavior which is not medically related?

Dr. Ship takes the position that any efforts to keep patients safer and alive is fair game for medical doctors.  She herself initiates the conversation by letting her patients know that texting and talking on the cellphone causes more auto accidents.  She then tells them that multitasking when talking on the cellphone is obviously dangerous, otherwise patients would not mind if their surgeon spoke on the phone while operating on them.

Anything to increase awareness of the problem of distracted driving helps.

Studies Show Cell Phone Conversations Cause Dangerous Distractions

April 4, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Driver distraction is a major cause of car accidents in San Diego and throughout the U.S., and distraction has increased over the past decade largely because cell phone use has become commonplace. Where most of the population used to make phone calls only from land lines in houses, offices, or pay phones, today 93 percent of U.S. drivers have cell phones, and far too many of them have phone conversations while behind the wheel.

Recent laws passed in California and other states have limited the use of cell phones in cars, banning acts like texting or holding the phone in one’s hand in order to use it. However, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, having a cell phone conversation even while using a hands-free device increases the risk of a crash as much as holding the cell phone in one’s hand in order to talk on it. Studies show that a person talking on any type of telecommunication device while driving is 37 percent less likely to be able to respond appropriately to sudden driving emergencies, making them four times more likely to cause an accident.

When a person is driving, his or her brain is equally distracted by a conversation, whether it’s over a hands-free device or a handheld one. Understanding what you are being told, deciding how to respond, and then speaking back into the phone may not feel particularly difficult, but every step in the process takes brainpower away from the most critical task: driving the vehicle safely.

Our accomplished San Diego distracted driving crash lawyers have helped many injured people and their families get the compensation they need after an accident. We strive to provide the best possible representation for every client. To discuss your case with us free of charge, contact our office today.