AT&T: More Adults Text and Drive Than Teens, Employers May be to Blame
April 1, 2013 8:02 AM
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Half of adults text, despite nearly all of them knowing that it's dangerous
Texting while driving remains a hotly debated topic in the U.S.
While most will agree that it can pose a dangerous distraction to drivers young and old alike, some argue that a quick text is no worse than the multitude of
other (legal) distractions in our vehicle
s -- be they screaming children or drooling dogs. While the federal government has
practiced a mostly hands-off policy
regarding texting and driving, many states have
moved to ban
texting while driving
. A handful have
looked to allow hands-free texting
. But even in states where texting and drive is illegal, like Michigan, studies have shown
many drivers still willfully text-and-drive
from America's second largest mobile carrier, AT&T, Inc. (
), adds fuel to the fire. It reports that more adult drivers are texting the road today than teens. The study was conducted last April and examined 1,200 cell-phone owning teens between ages 15 and 19 who drive, along with 1,011 cell-phone owning adults.
According to the survey, around 43 percent of teens text while driving. Surprisingly that number is even higher among adults -- 49 percent admit to performing the risky maneuver at some point. Among the total participants 98 percent said they felt texting and driving was unsafe (including those who were doing it).
While they know it’s wrong, four out of ten say it's not just an occasional emergency measure, it's a habit. And six out of ten who text-and-drive say that they did not do so three years ago, indicating the risky behavior is on the rise.
AT&T says it believes one reason why more adults text while driving than teens is the pressure of work responsibilities. After all, it's hard to ignore that text from your boss when (s)he is demanding an immediate answer. Thus AT&T is encouraging the adoption of anti-texting programs that call on employees and managers to cooperate to reduce the practice.
Cathy Coughlin, AT&T's global marketing officer, is heading the so-called "
It Can Wait
" anti-texting-and-driving campaign, which launched in 2009. She comments, "Through the It Can Wait movement, AT&T is collaborating with employers, nonprofits, law enforcement, educators, legislators, professional associations and government agencies nationwide. I'm confident, together we can save lives by encouraging millions more to make the personal commitment never to text and drive."
Virginia Tech University
suggests drivers who are texting are 23-times more likely to be involved in a collision. At the same time, counter-intuitively
traffic fatalities are at their lowest levels since 1949
, according to a 2011 survey.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/1/2013 8:39:53 AM
Laws banning texting and driving are retarded. There are already laws against driving recklessly. If someone is doing that, whatever the reason, pull them over. But merely having a phone in your hand shouldn't be a reason to get pulled over. Because how does the cop know what you're doing with it. I sometimes am just holding it with it on speakerphone. That is no more distracting than driving with a hands free system (which I have and normally am using but sometimes it messes up).
You should have to be visibly driving poorly to get pulled over for texting while driving.
RE: Hence why
4/1/2013 1:47:21 PM
I've seen too many times where the driver has their eyes off the front windshield to yammer/type away on their phones.
One particularly dangerous example was a woman going 20 MPH over posted speed limits on the fast lane and driving so horribly she could be mistaken for DUI. Almost missed a turn to a side street, and by doing so almost smacked the side of her car into another in the center lane. She was texting the entire time.
If the company requires me to always answer my company-provided phone regardless of what I'm doing, including driving - no I will not work for them, period. My life is more valuable than a company call.
RE: Hence why
4/2/2013 1:19:48 PM
The problem is that they aren't always driving badly. You can be driving in a perfectly straight line, look down for a second while another car happens to cut you off, and you don't have enough reaction time to hit the brakes when you look back up. It's not necessarily that you're driving erratically, but that your eyes aren't on the road.
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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