Drs. Oz & Roizen’s Tip of the Day: Watch out for distracted driving

King Features SyndicateJanuary 31, 2014 

Picture this: Hoke Colburn (Morgan Freeman) is driving Miss Daisy (Jessica Tandy) around town when he interrupts her to say: “Please hold on, Miss Daisy. I gotta call my brother about dinner tonight.” We bet Miss Daisy would have had a few choice words for Hoke.

Well, moms and dads, you need to say a few choice words to your newly licensed teens about the perils of dialing, texting or doing anything else besides driving when they are behind the wheel. Yet another study reveals that 10 percent of the time, drivers (that includes Mom and Dad, BTW) are preoccupied with something else, such as texting or eating, while piloting their cars. (Dialing a cell just once a day while driving makes your RealAge more than one year older.)

That behavior is particularly devastating for new drivers: They increase their risk of crashing or having a near-miss seven- to eightfold when reaching for a phone (or other object) or dialing, and quadruple it if they’re texting. While young drivers account for 6 percent of folks behind the wheel, they cause 10 percent of all fatal accidents and 14 percent of accidents that inflict injuries.

Folks, you need to teach your children safe driving habits by setting an example. Stay off the phone (it’s our pledge to do so, too), and then explain to them why distracted driving is reckless: It makes everyone’s RealAge a lot older, especially if someone causes an accident. Now, get home safely!

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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