In a previous post, we talked about Kentucky police having a hard time spotting drivers that text and drive. It’s safe to assume by now that everyone knows texting and driving is not safe. However, many are still inclined to this behavior and a recent study tells us why.
Why do we text and drive?
Survey results conducted by the University of Southern California Annenberg Center for the Digital Future and Bovitz Inc. revealed 87% of respondents agreed that texting or checking e-mails while driving is dangerous. However, 18% confessed they cannot “resist the urge” to check their phone while driving. This survey pooled responses from 904 drivers and responses varied by age. It showed 17% of Millennials ages 18-34 admitted to always or often sending or checking online messages while driving. Whereas, 7% of 35-54-year-olds admitted to sending or checking messages while they drove.
According to psychologist David Greenfield, founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut, younger people are more likely to text and drive because they see technology as an extension of themselves. Greenfield also compared texting while driving to a gambler at a slot machine. People feel the impulse to check their phone. Checking their phone is the only way they’d know whether the information they have received would make them feel happy. Greenfield added people are unaware that smartphones condition their brain and shape their behavior without them realizing it. This is where tougher laws might be of help.
Distracted driving is deadly
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over nine people are killed, while more than 1,153 people are injured every day in crashes that involved a distracted driver. In 2011, a total of 3,360 crashes involved a distracted driver. This number went down to 3,328 in 2012. Then, the number of people who were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver increased to 421,000 in 2012 from 387,000 in 2011.
We know it's dangerous, yet we still text and drive
In a fact list compiled by DoSomething.org, texting is said to make a crash 23 times more likely to happen. So, if you have young drivers at home, please be all the more careful. When kids see adults around them texting and driving, they are likely to think the habit is okay to do. There was also a survey conducted by AT&T. It found that 97% of teens agree that texting while driving is dangerous, yet 43% still do it. Meanwhile, in another report, teen drivers say they were sending text messages to their parents while behind the wheel.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I encourage you to put away your phone before you start your car’s engine. It only takes a few seconds to get into an accident that could change your life forever. Please look after your loved ones’ safety. Stay focused on the road and both hands on the wheel.