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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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By croc on 4/1/2013 5:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
Been there, done that. My rule was if I was driving, my phone was off. Boss-type called my PERSONAL phone once, thinking(?) that I might answer that, which I did. Someone promptly cut me off while trying to change lanes to make my exit, to which I replied appropriately 'You ******* ***** ********* ********!'. (All overheard on my hands-free, of course...) Stunned boss-type said something like 'I hear that you are busy. We have a fault, call in as soon as possible'. Stunned boss-type was not boss-type next week.

I always answered my work phone with an explanation of where I was / doing if it was a less-than-convenient situation. 'Hello, I am on a bus' worked a treat at keeping fault calls managed...




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