CAEP position Statement on cellphone use
Dayan Huang;* AtuI K. Kapur, MD, MSc;^ Patrick Ling, MD;* Roy Purssell, MD;^ Ryan J. Henneberry,
Chantelle R. Champagne;** Victoria K. Lee;** Louis H. Francescutti, MD, PhD,
VERSION FRANÇAISE À LA PAGE
Distracted driving caused by cellphone use is a significant
source of needless injuries. These injuries place unnecessary
financial burden, emotional stress and health care resource
misuse on society. This paper states the Canadian Associa-
tion of Emergency Physician's (CAEP's) position on cellphone
use while driving.
In recent years, numerous studies were conducted on the
danger of cellphone use while driving. Research has shown
that cellphone use while driving negatively impacts cognitive
functions, visual fields, reaction time and overall driving per-
formances. Some studies found that cellphone use is as dan-
gerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Moreover,
vehicle crash rates were shown to be significantly higher
when drivers used cellphones.
Countermeasures have been implemented in recent years.
Over 50 countries worldwide have laws limiting the use of
cellphones while driving. Six Canadian provinces, Newfound-
land and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, British
Columbia and Saskatchewan, currently have legislation pro-
hibiting cellphone use. Other provinces are considering
implementing similar bans.
As emergency physicians, we must advocate for injury pre-
vention. Cell phone related road traumas are avoidable. CAEP
supports all measures to ban cellphone use while driving.
The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians recom-
mends the following measures:
1. CAEP advocates for a total ban on hand-held and hands-
free cellphone use while driving.
2. CAEP supports public awareness campaigns to inform
people about the dangers of using cellphones and other
hands-free electronic devices while driving.
3. CAEP supports discussions and seminars on the dangers
of cellphone use while driving at future national confer-
ences to raise awareness within the medical community.
4. CAEP supports continuing research into the danger of dis-
5. CAEP supports legislations and policies banning all use of
cellphones while driving.
Board approved Apr. 13, 2010
The consequences of motor vehicle collisions (MVCs)
are often devastating to families, physicians and the
entire health care team. Emergency physicians, who
often witness the outcomes of collisions first hand,
especially recognize the burden of MVCs on society.
The economic burden of collisions in Canada is esti-
mated to be $62.7 billion each year, which represents
close to 4.9% of Canada's 2004 gross domestic prod-
uct.' According to Statistics Canada, the number of
deaths related to motor vehicle accidents from 2000 to
2005 totalled 18 643. Of these, 4479, or nearly one-
quarter (24%), involved the age group 15 to 24 years.^
Since the introduction of cellphones in 1983, the