‘Top Docs’ show on distracted driving now online

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A recording of a recent Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show that addressed the dangers associated with distracted driving is now available online.

The show featured Ali Rahimi, M.D., a cardiologist with Kaiser Permanente of Georgia and the Southeast Permanente Medical Group, Charles Wilmer, M.D., an interventional cardiologist and the chief of innovation at the Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta, and MAG Executive Director Donald J. Palmisano Jr.

“Every day, people are unnecessarily killed and disfigured for life because of distracted driving,” says Dr. Rahimi. “Not only does this behavior endanger the driver, it endangers their passengers and innocent bystanders.”

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distracted driving is responsible for about 16 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. – which translates into some 5,000 deaths per year.

Dr. Rahimi explains that, “Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving, including texting, using a cell phone or smartphone, eating and drinking, grooming, reading, looking at maps, using a navigation system, watching a video, and adjusting the radio.”

Dr. Wilmer believes that, “Our reality is that distracted driving is spreading like a deadly cancer throughout Georgia. It threatens all of us, including our spouses and our children and our friends.”

Distracted driving has affected Dr. Wilmer in a very personal way: “A fellow physician I knew was killed by a distracted driver while he was riding his bike. In that instant, a family lost a father, a husband, and their economic peace of mind – and 3,000 patients lost a great doctor.”

Palmisano notes that MAG supported a bill by Rep. Betty Price, M.D., during this year’s legislative session that would have prohibited drivers in the state from holding a cell phone to text or talk while driving a motor vehicle.

H.B. 163 did not ultimately pass, but Palmisano stresses that MAG will take an active role in a legislative committee that will study this issue this summer. 

MAG sponsors the ‘Top Docs’ program at 12 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Between downloads and live listeners, MAG's ‘Top Docs’ show has reached more than 8,500 listeners – which includes people in all 50 states and 84 countries.

MAG’s ‘Top Docs Radio’ show is supported with a grant from Health Care Research, a subsidiary of Alliant Health Solutions.

Click to listen to ‘Top Docs Radio’ show recording