By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia police commissioner raised the alert flag last week and I am in total agreement. We have a major public health problem in our city and around the country and it is only getting worse.

According to some polls, as many as 21% of people admit texting while driving and accidents are on the rise. I will be the first to tell you, it is tempting. You are driving in the car and you either hear that chirp or vibrating sound from the phone. It is sitting beside you and then a few moments later you hear it again. Maybe you don’t reach for it right away, but you wait for a red light or a break in traffic.

That is all it takes. The eyes go off the road and you swerve or far worse you collide with a car, a tree or a pedestrian. Take a moment and think about it, especially if you remember a time without cell phones. You survived and the work got done or dinner plans went fine. Is this worth risking your life or health?

My strategy is to put the phone in the back seat where I cannot reach it. I find it is the best way to avoid temptation. Whatever you do, please do something.

We have enough readers that if you all listen to this advice, I guarantee lives will be saved. We will never know who will benefit because it will never happen, but assume it is the person you love most and you will put that phone out of reach.

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