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Healthcare Providers Can Help Reduce Teen Driving Deaths
Date:10/1/2008

Children's National expert says physicians have unique opportunity to help parents and teens practice safer driving.

Washington, DC (Vocus) October 1, 2008 -- Family physicians can and should help teens and their families understand the http://www.childrensnational.org/?utm_source=pressrelease&utm_medium=9_30&utm_campaign=driving_safety [importance of responsible driving], according to a manuscript in the September edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The authors, http://www.childrensnational.org/research/faculty/bios/ccir/DAngelo_l.aspx?utm_source=pressrelease&utm_medium=9_30&utm_campaign=driving_safety [Lawrence D'Angelo, MD], chief of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children's National Medical Center and Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, an adolescent medicine expert from the University of California, San Francisco, make the case that healthcare providers have a unique opportunity to relay this vital safety information to teenagers and their parents in a personalized way to help individuals better understand what's at stake when teens get behind the wheel.

"In the past, healthcare providers have provided counseling to patients that has assisted with smoking cessation, improved bicycle helmet use, decreased alcohol abuse, and decreased sexual risk taking," said Dr. D'Angelo. "It stands to reason that with proper guidance and tools, providers could also actively assist curbing crash rates among teens."

The authors contend that physicians need greater encouragement to provide targeted screening, education, and counseling aimed at more than seatbelt use and alcohol abuse. According to previously published research by http://www.childrensnational.org/research/faculty/bios/ccir/DAngelo_l.aspx [Dr. D'Angelo], physicians report counseling teens 85 percent of the time about seatbelts and alcohol, but only about o
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