Fatal distraction: Cell phone use while driving

Lee, K. V., Champagne, C. R., and Francescutti, L. H.
National Institutes of Health

The objective of this literature review was to summarize current evidence about the risks of cell phone use while driving, and to equip physicians with strategies to avoid this dangerous habit and also educate their patients, friends, and family. Information contained in this review addressed important issues, including ways to approach and discuss the topic with others, and to suggest solutions to reduce risk. Gaining understanding of patient perspectives about this topic was encouraged prior to broaching a conversation with them. It was suggested that facts related to the negative effects of distraction and the risks associated with the behaviour be addressed in discussion, and a series of facts that could be used to address different perspectives was shared.

Potential solutions that were identified included turning the cell phone off when getting into a vehicle, setting up caller ID and voice mail systems, asking passengers to help by operating the cell phone if needed, and pulling over in a safe location if it is important to make a call. This review underscored the importance of setting a good example to patients, parents, and youth to eliminate the use of cell phones while driving.

Lee, V. K., Champagne, C. R., & Francescutti, L. H. (2013). Fatal distraction: Cell phone use while driving. Canadian Family Physician, 59(7), 723-725.