Are You a Distracted Driver?
11/11/2011

ALLEN, Texas — Believe it or not, distracted driving affects your health and others — passengers, pedestrians, and even other drivers. There are many things which may affect your concentration while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a dedicated website designed to end or at least limit distracted driving. Their site lists several common distractions affecting drivers including cell phone use, eating and drinking, navigation system use, and texting.

The NHTSA identifies three types of distractions for drivers: Visual, Manual, and Cognitive. Texting while driving includes all three types of distractions.

What is the solution? The American Osteopathic Association offers several tips if you absolutely must use a cell phone while driving. They are:

  • End the call if there is heavy traffic or inclement weather
  • Use the speed dialing function on your cell phone
  • Do not engage in highly emotional conversations
  • Do not text and drive

“Trying to discuss deeply emotional issues while driving either on the cell phone or with a passenger can greatly distract the driver on more than the surface level,” says Dr. William Woodfin, a physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen. “Many of us are already dealing with different emotional stresses in just our normal routine. It is best for the driver to try to let go of the strained thoughts and concentrate on the drive. It is also very important for all passengers to support this goal. It may just save your life and the life of someone else.”

For more information, visit distraction.gov and osteopathic.org. For more information on the hospital’s services and educational classes, visit TexasHealth.org/Allen.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen is a 73-bed acute-care hospital serving the northern Collin County area since 2000. The hospital’s services include women’s services, a Level II neonatal intensive care unit, orthopedics, pediatrics, wound care and sleep medicine. Texas Health Allen, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has more than 500 physicians on its medical staff practicing in more than 25 specialties. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org/Allen.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.