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Serious Dangers of Distracted Driving

Summary: Distracted driving causes more than nine deaths each day in the US. Learn how to avoid becoming a statistic.
Air Date: 4/11/14
Duration: 10
Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD
Guest Bio: James Williams, MD
Dr. James Williams is a an Emergency Physician Attending Covenant Medical Center, a regional heart, stroke and trauma center and Past President Texas College of Emergency Physicians.
Serious Dangers of Distracted Driving
With advancements in technology and every teen walking around with a smartphone (all which serve as more than just a "phone"), fresh drivers are often distracted by these devices... particularly while driving.

This has become a huge problem in recent years. In fact, many states are passing new legislation making it illegal to use handheld devices while driving.

But are these new laws being enforced?

Dr. James Williams joins Dr. Leigh to discuss this ever-growing issue.

According to the CDC, each day over nine people are killed due to distracted driving, and more than 1,000 accidents occur. The stats are astounding.

Law enforcement officials are now checking phones to see if there was activity that occurred at the time of the accident that may have caused it. Is this invasion of privacy? Not when you are putting others in harms way.

The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration defines distracted driving as using your cellphone to talk while driving, texting, eating or drinking, grooming, watching videos or allowing other passengers to distract you. Texting while driving creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.

This is a very serious issue and has caused thousands of injuries and deaths. Talk to your teens. Make sure they know that their texts and phone calls can wait. Of course, if it cannot wait, then pull off the road and conduct these communications while parked.

This issue is not only exclusive to teen drivers. As the adult, you need to make an example and eliminate using your phones and other devices while driving. It could just save a life.