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Why People Continue to Use Cell Phones While Driving

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

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Most people know that distracted driving—especially talking on cell phones and texting—can lead to accidents that cause serious injuries and deaths. However, people continue to talk on their cell phones and text while driving. There are researchers who believe that some drivers are addicted to this practice.

The Shocking Statistics of Cell Phone Use While Driving

A recent survey by AT&T shows how common it is for drivers to use their cell phones. Here were some of the findings:

  • 49 nine percent of those surveyed admitted they text and drive.
  • Over 50 percent of these drivers began texting while driving within the last three years.
  • 98 percent of drivers know sending a text or an email is not safe.
  • Over 40 percent of drivers who text and drive called it a habit.

Researchers who worked on the survey believe that people get ‘a high’ from checking their cell phone, similar to feelings when using a slot machine. In fact, one researcher called smartphones the world’s “smallest slot machine” as well as a “digital drug.” When people use their phone to look at their Facebook page or check email, they’re not sure what they’ll find or how good it will be. Because it’s a pleasurable experience to receive a message, it may elevate the amount of dopamine in the brain and make a person want to continue checking for more.

Researchers feel there’s a payoff that drives people to look at their phones, even though they know there could be deadly results by doing so while driving. And although apps have been developed to prevent drivers from using their cell phones, they’ve been slow to catch on with consumers.

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Category: Auto Accident


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