The dangers associated with cellphone use while driving have been well documented. However, anti-texting laws and numerous public safety and educational campaigns appear to be widely ineffective in stopping drivers from using cellphones as a recent study by the National Safety Council estimates that “a minimum of 27 percent of crashes involve drivers talking and texting on cellphones.”
It’s been five years since the mobile provider AT&T launched it’s It Can Wait campaign. Since that time, the company has run public safety campaigns and reports that more than 6.5 million people have pledged “not to text and drive.” However, a recent AT&T study raises doubts about the effectiveness of campaigns like It Can Wait.
In a survey of 2,076 smartphone users ages 16 to 65, 61 percent admitted to texting while driving. The survey’s findings also reveal that smartphone users regularly engage with their mobile devices in other distracting and dangerous ways with 33 percent reporting emailing and 28 percent surfing the net.
A disturbing percentage of drivers also report using social media while driving with 27 percent using Facebook and 14 percent Twitter. An additional 17 percent of respondents have also snapped selfies while driving and 12 percent shot videos. Of those drivers who say they use social media while driving, 22 percent said they were addicted to using sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The results of this most-recent AT&T study are both revealing and disturbing and provide convincing evidence that current education and enforcement efforts to stop cellphone use among drivers aren’t working. Georgia drivers who choose to text while driving, Tweet or take a selfie are not only endangering their own lives, but also those of other drivers and passengers. In cases where these individuals cause or are involved in accidents, legal action may be taken by those who are injured to recover damages.
Source: AT&T.com, “Smartphone Use While Driving Grows Beyond Texting to Social Media, Web Surfing, Selfies, Video Chatting,” May 19, 2015