Study Shows Drivers Understand the Dangers of Texting and Driving but Chooses to do it Anyway
A new survey shows that 98% of drivers understand the dangers of texting and driving – statistically, it just as dangerous as drinking and driving – but those drivers chose to text and drive regardless of the increased risk of injury or death.
Three-quarters of the people surveyed said they chose texting and driving regardless of the laws or dangers of texting and driving. Many states have passed legislation to ban texting and driving, as well as checking social media or email on a smartphone. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they read text messages while stopped at a stop sign or red light, and over one-quarter said they sent texts while driving.
Over one-quarter of the drivers in the texting and driving survey said they believed they “can easily do several things at once, even while driving.”
The study was conducted by AT&T, as part of their larger anti-texting and driving campaign. The phone company designed the survey with help from David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, who is also a professor at the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine.
“We compulsively check our phones because every time we get an update through text, email or social media, we experience an elevation of dopamine, which is a neurochemical in the brain that makes us feel happy,” said Dr. Greenfield. “If that desire for a dopamine fix leads us to check our phones while we’re driving, a simple text can turn deadly.”
AT&T is offering a free app for smartphones that will silence text and other message alerts while the phone owner is driving, to help prevent the temptation to text and drive.
The survey asked more specific questions about why drivers were texting and driving. They found that 28% said they were afraid they would miss out on something important if they did not immediately answer the message; ¼ believed that their driving was not impaired by reading or responding to texts; also ¼ of respondents felt pressure to respond right away because it was expected of them; 6% said they thought they might be addicted to texting; 14% admitted they became anxious if they did not respond to a message right away; and 17% said they felt a “sense of satisfaction” when they can read and respond to a text message.
Texting and driving has surfaced as one of the leading causes of death among teenagers and young adults, higher even than drunk driving. The distracted driving practice also has as high a mortality rate for the general population as drunk driving, according to studies. South Carolina recently passed texting and driving legislation, making it the last Southern state to do so.
The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers, Including Texting and Driving
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case caused by distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.