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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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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.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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