Doctors Encouraged To Ask Patients About Their Texting Habits

Posted on July 29, 2013

Researchers from the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta explain that the key to rooting out distracted driving among some individuals is to get doctors more involved.  They believe that such medical professionals may be able to influence positive behavior among citizens.

Their position is detailed in the Canada Family Physician journal.  Basically, they believe that asking a patient whether they text at the wheel should become one of the questions during a general checkup.  So in addition to figuring out whether a patient could suffer health complications due to a history of smoking or drinking, a doctor could figure out if a patient is endangering himself or herself by being distracted while driving.

To get doctors to take their point seriously, the persons behind the study explain the threat posed to drivers who insist on texting, with such individuals 23 times as susceptible to a crash.  Even those who only talk on their cellphones at the wheel are up to six times as likely to be involved in an accident.

Researchers note that, more than just asking patients whether they regularly engage in the activity, doctors have to be willing to cut it out of their own lives.  They say that doctors can set a good example for their patients if they can readily admit that they’re taking the issue seriously and thus don’t use their cellphones while driving.

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