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AMA to Support Laws Against Text Messaging While Driving

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Text messaging has rapidly become a favorite form of communication for millions of Americans, but texting while driving is a public health risk, says the American Medical Association (AMA) in new policy adopted today at its semi-annual policy-making meeting. The AMA voted today to advocate for state legislation prohibiting the use of hand-held devices to text message while driving.

"Texting while driving takes the driver's attention away from the road, which can lead to accidents," said Peter Carmel, M.D., AMA board member. "A recent study found that text messaging while driving causes a 400 percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road. No one should have to worry that other drivers are focused on texting instead of traffic. This is about keeping people safe on our roads."

Seven states - Alaska, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington - and the District of Columbia already have bans on text messaging while driving because of the great risk to public safety. The AMA will support additional states in their quest to ban text messaging by motorists. In addition, the new AMA policy encourages physicians to educate patients on the public health risks associated with driving while distracted with text messages and cell phones.

SOURCE American Medical Association
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