Survey Says Most People Know Texting While Driving Is Dangerous, Do It Anyway

Odds are, you’re not sending your friends and loved ones off to drive somewhere with a hearty, “Don’t forget to text while driving!” But even though mostly everyone knows that texting and driving a car is dangerous, a new survey shows that a whole heck of a lot of us still do it anyway.

In what I’ll call the “Yeah, But It’s Fine Just This Once” phenomenon, 98% of respondents to an AT&T survey who own cellphones and text on the regular said they were aware of the dangers — but about 75% of those admitted they’d texted while driving, even though it’s illegal to do so in some states.

The survey is part of an AT&T campaign against texting while driving, reports the Associated Press, and was designed with David Greenfield, founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and a professor at the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine.

So why are drivers texting in the first place? To “stay connected” with friends, family and work; out of habit; worries over missing something important; because they don’t think they drive any differently while texting and a simple “sense of satisfaction” from reading or replying to a text.

To that last point — Greenfield, the designer of the study, says getting a good text message can be like scoring on a slot machine, increasing your dopamine levels when you hit the jackpot.

That’s partly why texting while driving is one of the most criticized driving distractions, he says, because “it’s ongoing and because there is an anticipatory aspect to it.”

Survey finds people text and drive knowing dangers [Associated Press]

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