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Preventing Texting While Driving

A Statement of the American College of Preventive Medicine
Published:September 10, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2014.07.004
      The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) is providing a set of recommendations designed to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with distractions due to texting while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 12% of all fatal crashes involving at least one distracted driver are estimated to be related to cell phone use while driving.

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic safety facts research note: distracted driving 2011. USDOT. 2013. www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811737.pdf

      Given the combination of visual, manual, and cognitive distractions posed by texting, this is an issue of major public health concern for communities. Therefore, the ACPM feels it is timely to discuss this issue and provide the following recommendations:
      • 1
        Encourage state legislatures to develop and pass legislation banning texting while driving, while simultaneously implementing comprehensive and dedicated law enforcement strategies including penalties for these violations. Legislatures should establish a public awareness campaign regarding the dangers of texting while driving as an integral part of this legislation.
      • 2
        Promote further research into the design and evaluation of educational tools regarding texting while driving that can be incorporated into the issuance of driver’s licenses.
      • 3
        Provide primary care providers with the appropriate tools to educate patients of all ages.
      • 4
        Conduct additional studies investigating the risks associated with cell phone usage while driving, particularly texting, with motor vehicle crashes.
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