Drivers could be addicted to texting behind the wheel

According to a recent survey commissioned by AT&T as part of its “It Can Wait” campaign, approximately three-quarters of drivers admitted to texting while behind the wheel – despite 98 percent of those surveyed knowing that texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of driver distraction.

The study revealed that many drivers are simply too addicted to their cell phones to stop texting, or at least stop checking the phones for texts when they get behind the wheel.

The doctor who conducted the survey concluded that people continuously check their phones for text messages, emails and social media notifications because they are seeking the happy feeling caused by an elevation of dopamine they get when they receive an update, according to a press release from AT&T.

Unfortunately, if drivers cannot put down their cell phones while driving, the addiction to the “dopamine fix” may lead to an accident that results in catastrophic injuries or death.

Most Common Texting While Driving Activities

The following are some of the most common texting-while-driving activities, as well as the percentage of surveyed drivers who admitted to engaging in these types of activities at least once while driving:

  • Reading a text message while stopped at a red light or stop sign, 66 percent.
  • Sending a text message while stopped at a red light or stop sign, 49 percent.
  • Glancing at a cell phone to check for messages while stopped at a light or stop sign, 49 percent.
  • Reading a text message while driving, 43 percent.
  • Glancing at a cell phone to check for messages while driving, 34 percent.
  • Sending a text message while driving, 27 percent.

The main reason drivers gave for texting while driving was that they wanted or felt the need to stay connected with family, friends, co-workers, bosses and so forth. The secondary reason was pure habit. Some drivers are so used to using their cell phones that they simply continue to do so while driving.

Can Technology Be Used to Solve the Texting-While-Driving Addiction?

With reporting more than 3,350 deaths and another 421,000 injuries caused by distracted driving accidents in one recent year, there is no question that a solution to the texting-while-driving problem is desperately needed. AT&T has developed an app for Android and iOS users that may help solve the problem.

Once downloaded, the DriveMode app can help drivers stay focused on driving by silencing incoming text message alerts. The app also sends an automated message to senders to notify them that the recipient is driving.

When the driver slows below 15 mph, the app automatically turns itself off. Parents with children who are of driving age can program the app so they will receive a message if the app is turned off.

By using technology such as the DriveMode app, drivers may avoid being distracted by text messages that could cause them to be involved in a serious car accident.

Contact our Colorado Car Accident Law Firm

Attorney Steve Ray is a former Marine Corps judge now fights for the rights of accident victims in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, he brings more than 35 years of legal experience and military discipline to pursuing your claim for compensation.

He will meet with you to discuss your case and, if a claim is possible, pursue the maximum financial recovery available. If we cannot recover money for you, you will pay nothing for our legal services.

Contact us today to discuss your case in a free consultation.