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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 vehicles -- 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 via dictation systems.  But even in states where texting and drive is illegal, like Michigan, studies have shown many drivers still willfully text-and-drive.

fresh study from America's second largest mobile carrier, AT&T, Inc. (T), 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."

A 2009 study by Virginia Tech University's Transportation Institute 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.

Source: AT&T

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Company point of view
By Cstefan on 4/1/2013 8:58:00 AM , Rating: 2
We pay your cell bill, you need to answer when called and reply when texted to. I have been at these places.

Then you have the good worker bee who feels compelled to look at emails and texts even while driving.

Everyone else is smart enough to stay alive.

RE: Company point of view
By AlvinCool on 4/1/2013 9:19:54 AM , Rating: 2
Not only do they pay my cell bill, they expect me to be on time on calls some over 100 miles apart across some rural areas. And they track me with the cell phone using the teen tracking app. If I pull over to use the apps I'm late, if I don't answer / lookup I can't manage my calls. It's a horrible situation where the best I can do is wait for a long stretch of road with no traffic.

RE: Company point of view
By Samus on 4/1/2013 10:12:03 AM , Rating: 2
One of many reasons I refuse a company-paid cell phone, and the last employer I had that required everyone have one...I quit.

RE: Company point of view
By FITCamaro on 4/1/2013 11:24:05 AM , Rating: 1
I have one and love it. Free cell phone. And we're almost never called. It's more of a benefit slash emergency work situation preparedness thing. We also get laptops for that reason. That way if there was ever a disaster, we could work from anywhere. It also gives us the flexibility to work from home if we need/want to.

RE: Company point of view
By euclidean on 4/1/2013 11:30:39 AM , Rating: 2
My company provides me with a smartphone...but lucky enough we're required to follow local laws, so living in Michigan I can ignore email/text (and even phone calls if I want) while driving...

...though, they don't track our usage of the device or where we're at either, so it's a different situation all together.

But I would agree with you if I had to work for a place that had that level of oversight...

RE: Company point of view
By alpha754293 on 4/1/2013 1:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think that it depends on the company and also your supervisor. I'm pretty sure that if my supervisor tried to call me or text me while I'm driving, that I should be able to tell him that I'm driving and then he'll leave me alone until I can find a good time to stop and call or text him back to find out what's up.

But again, that's depends on your supervisor.

Re: tracking
I work for a company that has some like 164,000 employees worldwide. Granted, not all of us have company cellphones of course, but I would think that even if you're trying to track 1/10th of that, it would be a bit of a management nightmare. (Somtimes, it's just not worth it, even IF they are footing the bill for it.)

RE: Company point of view
By AlvinCool on 4/2/2013 9:27:39 AM , Rating: 2
No company looks at all the data they collect. They just setup an automated collection of it then examine it as need be. AT&T sells the same package that tracks teen phones to businesses for almost nothing if they give them "X" amount of cell phones. The tracking works with map quest data so they can see every place you carried your phone during any week they need to look at. It's their phone

RE: Company point of view
By Arsynic on 4/1/13, Rating: 0
RE: Company point of view
By AlvinCool on 4/1/2013 12:23:30 PM , Rating: 2
Actually my salary is horrible, but I need a part time job while I get my degree paid for and this is all I can find in my area. Good thing my wife makes excellent money, which is why we can't move now. And you know what they say about people that call others names, that they lack the ability to perform critical thinking.

And for you guys that think your company paid cell phone isn't tracked, exactly how do you know that? It doesn't have to show up on the bill as this is a separate service paid for in group.

RE: Company point of view
By HostileEffect on 4/1/2013 1:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
Throw it into an old cardboard insulated ammo can, problem solved.

RE: Company point of view
By MrBlastman on 4/1/2013 2:42:44 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't you rather live to complete your degree than put your life at risk every day being at the beck and call of someone else that doesn't give a darn about you?

RE: Company point of view
By Reclaimer77 on 4/1/13, Rating: -1
RE: Company point of view
By MrBlastman on 4/2/2013 11:21:50 AM , Rating: 2
After witnessing people nearly run off the road multiple times due to them playing with their phones, I do. Thankfully I horned them and got their attention before they did in a few of those situations.

RE: Company point of view
By Reclaimer77 on 4/2/2013 1:49:13 PM , Rating: 1
Mesh not a huge issue IMO. More nannying first world problems. Another fake crisis issue used an excuse for more laws, more control.

RE: Company point of view
By Techslave on 4/1/2013 2:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
Also don't forget, should you die in a car accident the company will just "Get another Michael from the warehouse." (A Boy and His Dog, 1975)

Worked there, done that too.

RE: Company point of view
By dgingerich on 4/1/2013 2:13:40 PM , Rating: 3
Some people need to get a spine and tell their employers "no, I will not answer the phone or texts while I'm driving. If you don't like that, tough. I'm not going to leave you without an employee and someone else without a mother, father, or child." I do that everywhere I'm set up with a company cell phone. Once told that I will not answer while driving, they understand and back off. Of course, I'm not on the road all that much. Funny thing about standing your ground: people usually respect it and show you more respect in turn. you're more likely to keep your job, not less.

RE: Company point of view
By Solandri on 4/1/2013 3:53:31 PM , Rating: 2
Some people need to get a spine and tell their employers "no, I will not answer the phone or texts while I'm driving.

Even that's a concession. What people should actually be telling their employer is, "No, I will not answer the phone or texts outside of work hours."

Unless your job description includes time on-call, just turn off your company phone outside of work hours. If you decide to answer a company call or text outside of work hours, you're doing them a favor. I suspect the real problem is other employees doing this as a way to try to get ahead, forcing everyone into a race to the bottom where they feel compelled to answer their work calls/texts 24/7.

RE: Company point of view
By Reclaimer77 on 4/1/2013 8:41:28 PM , Rating: 1
Or you can just show some brains and pull over and or wait to answer the text when you are somewhere safe?

I've literally never had an employer that would flip out if it took a few minutes to get back to him/her. Stop portraying that absurd stereotype.

RE: Company point of view
By voodoobunny on 4/1/2013 3:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
We pay your cell bill, you need to answer when called and reply when texted to.

IANAL, but:

Any company that even remotely *implies* this in writing could face *huge* liability issues the moment *anyone* gets hurt because one of their employees was DWT (Driving While Texting). They would actively be mandating that their employees break the law (which is probably illegal in itself) and opening themselves to civil suits to boot.

If you work for a company that requires this.... get it in writing. At least then if something happens, you and other people can sue the company out of existence so they can't do it any more.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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