Intro: This study analyzed whether Georgia Senate Bill 360, a statewide law passed in August 2010, prohibits text messaging while driving, leading to a reduction in this behavior among emergency medicine (EM) and general surgery (GS) healthcare providers.
Methods: Utilizing SurveyMonkey®, we created an online survey containing up to 28 multiple choice and free-text questions about driving behaviors. EM and GS healthcare providers in a southeastern medical school and its affiliate county hospital got an email asking them to completed this survey in February 2011. We performed all analyses in SPSS (version 19.0, Chicago, IL, 2010), using chi-squared tests and logistic regression models. The principal outcome of interest was a change in player texting or emailing while driving following the passing of this texting ban in the state of Georgia.
Findings: Two hundred and twenty-six providers completed the whole survey (response rate 46.8percent ). Participants varied in age from 23 to 71 years, with a mean age of 38 (SD=10.2; median=35). Only three-quarters of suppliers (n=173, 76.6percent ) were aware of a texting ban from the state. Out of them, 60 suppliers (36.6percent ) reported never or infrequently send out texts while driving (0 to 2 times for each year), and 30 participated in this behavior nearly daily (18.9percent ). Almost two-thirds of the group reported no change in texting while driving after passage of this texting ban (n=110, 68 percent ), while 53 respondents texted less (31.8percent ). Respondents younger than 40 were more than two times as likely to report no change in texting post-ban than elderly participants (OR=2.31, p=0.014). Providers who’d been pulled over for speeding in the past five years were roughly 2.5 times as likely not to alter their texting-while-driving behavior after legislation passing than those with no history of police stops for speeding (OR=2.55, p=0.011). Each additional ticket obtained in the previous five years to get a moving violation diminished the probability of reporting a reduction in texting by 45%. (OR=0.553, p=0.007).
Conclusion: EM and GS suppliers, especially those who are younger, have obtained more tickets for moving violations.
A history of police stops for speeding local display compliance with distracted driving laws, although firsthand exposure to the motor car crashes caused by distracted driving.
To conclude, the 2010 Georgia ban on texting while driving didn’t demonstrably alter this behavior among EM doctors or trauma surgeons. In addition to those who reported police stops for speeding and more moving violations in the previous five years, younger providers were least likely to change their behaviors. Future studies should assess the efficacy of different interventions in improving compliance with this legislation. Additionally, the identical survey could be replicated among similar people to check if increased awareness of this legislation has changed texting while driving frequencies.