Health care/social assistance Research/studies

Health care providers ignore texting-while-driving dangers: study

Reprints

Atlanta – Emergency medicine practitioners have an up-close view of the deaths and injuries that can result from texting while driving. Yet when they are not working, physicians, nurses, residents and other emergency health care providers often engage in the same dangerous driving habits, according to a study from Emory University School of Medicine.

Researchers analyzed the effectiveness of Georgia’s 2010 ban on texting while driving by surveying 226 emergency health care providers in the state. They found that almost 25 percent of the respondents were unaware of the ban. Of those who were aware of the ban, only 36.6 percent reported never or rarely sending texts while driving, and 18.9 percent said they texted while driving almost daily.

Age played a factor in the responses: Survey participants who were younger than 40 were more than twice as likely to maintain their texting behavior after the ban. Researchers said more needs to be done to improve community awareness of the legislation, including efforts targeted at emergency health care providers.

The study was published in the August edition of the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine.