ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The misuse of mobile electronic devices has not escaped the attention of Medical Council Chairman Dr Eumel Samuel who is calling for a method to better record data from cell phone accidents.
The dangers associated to misuse of mobile phone devices has been of concern to Telecommunications Company LIME, who earlier this month, launched an initiative to help reduce accident related to the texting and driving.
Dr Samuel would like the medical community to set up a data collection base “where any injury that comes to their attention, they can interrogate patients in terms of these electronic devices.”
He said the misuse of cell phones has been a concern to the medical community, but the lack of data has left them in the dark about the seriousness of the problem.
Twenty-eight per cent of traffic accidents occur when people talk on cellphones or send text messages while driving, according to a study released the US based National Safety Council.
Dr Samuel said because some people try to drown ambient noise, there’s specific worry about long-term damage to hearing and co-ordination.
“That’s a medical issue that can damage their ear drum quite readily. Over a protracted period of time you can have deficit in hearing and how your balance functions at a later date,” he said.
“The other issue is a safety issue. Being so caught up with what’s happening to your ears, you are not aware of your surroundings which may cause you or other people harm,” the doctor added.
Police have complained about pedestrians mesmerised by their phones and other devices attempting to cross the street without first checking if it is safe to do so.
Lawmen have also expressed concern for drivers operating vehicles unsafely while engaging in electronic conversation.