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.
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RE: Company point of view
4/1/2013 11:30:39 AM
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
4/1/2013 1:28:43 PM
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.
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
4/2/2013 9:27:39 AM
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
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