As research results continue to pile up, it’s becoming more and more clear that texting while driving, and other forms of distracted driving, can have quite serious consequences. In fact, we only have to take a look at the local news to find articles where texting while driving has been implicated in yet another serious traffic accident or even worse, a traffic fatality. Why then, do people continue to text while they’re driving?
If the results of a new survey commissioned by AT&T are accurate, it may be because texting while driving is a compulsive behavior. According to the study, over 90 percent of those surveyed said they knew of the dangers of texting while driving, but many of them rationalized the occasions in which they continued to text and drive. Such justifications, says Dr. David Greenfield, founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Connecticut School of Medicine, are a classic sign of addiction.
Why are we driven to compulsively check our cell phones, even while we’re driving and we’ve heard all the statistics about the dangers in using our phones while driving? According to Dr. Greenfield, our dopamine levels rise whenever we check our phones for updates via text, social media or email. Dopamine is a neurochemical in our brain that makes us feel happy, and it may be one of the reasons we’re addicted to our cell phones. Unfortunately, though, going for a dopamine fix while we’re driving can have potentially disastrous consequences.
The good news? According to research, most people – 82 percent, in fact – who take steps to stop themselves from texting while driving end up feeling good about themselves. If you’re looking to stop yourself from indulging in your cellphone addiction while driving, AT&T has spearheaded the Texting & Driving … It Can Wait campaign, which urges everyone to use the hashtag #X to tell people you’re going to pause the conversation before you start driving. Use the hashtag for a quick and convenient way of saying you’ll get back to them when you arrive at your destination.
After a car accident, an experienced attorney is one of the few people who will advocate for your best interests. Robert Greening is the principal attorney at Greening Law, P.C. He has dedicated his 24 years of practice to the litigation of wrongful death and serious injury cases. If you have any questions, contact Greening Law, P.C. at 972-934-8900.