Doctors should talk distracted driving with patients, experts say

Edmonton, Alberta – Physicians should discuss with patients the dangers of using cell phones while driving, medical experts from the University of Alberta recommend.

In a commentary published July 29 in Canadian Family Physician, the authors stated that physicians are able to strongly influence patients’ health and safety behaviors and should integrate these discussions into patient conversations the same way they do for heart disease, smoking and diabetes.

Discussions on cell phone use while driving are particularly necessary, they said, for patients who have a higher vulnerability to distraction, including teens and patients with attention deficit disorder.

The authors also stated that employers, the media, the government and communities must work together to spread the message on the dangers of cell phone use while driving to further discourage the behavior and to reach individuals who do not regularly visit physicians.