The Compulsion to Text and Drive
Most Florida drivers will agree that texting while driving is dangerous. Despite that admission, many drivers surrender to the text tone of their phone while driving. While we all shun the practice, most cannot resist.
A recent study conducted by AT&T and Dr. David Greenfield from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine found over 90 percent of those surveyed were aware of the dangers of texting and driving and every three out of four drivers admitted to doing it anyway.
What is the motivation behind this risky addiction? Dr. Greenfield says, “We compulsively check our phones because every time we get an update through text, email or social media, we experience an elevation of dopamine, which is a neurochemical in the brain that makes us feel happy. If that desire for a dopamine fix leads us to check our phones while we’re driving, a simple text can turn deadly.”
“Florida drivers are banned from texting while driving. However, the law is a secondary offense, meaning you must be committing another traffic offense in order to get pulled over,” reports Ellsworth Buck Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.
The results of the AT&T survey found, nearly 3 out of 10 drivers believe they can easily do several things at once, even while driving, despite research reporting something the contrary. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
To put the dangers of texting in perspective, Car and Driver magazine conducted a test and found texting and reading a text resulted in slower reaction times for drivers than someone intoxicated behind the wheel. Texting while driving impairs drivers from maintaining lane position and proper speed.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, found on average, your eyes are diverted 4.6 seconds to read or send a text. If you are traveling at 55 mph you would have driven the distance of a football field.
Drivers report a wide range of explanations for why they text and drive, “staying connected” or “the fear of missing out on something,” are the most common. Self-control and a commitment to reliable driving are the solutions to keeping it safe behind the wheel. The following are some tips to halt the dangerous practice of texting while driving.
- Lead by example, if you stop using your phone in the car, chances are your kids will follow suit.
- Declare your teen’s vehicle a no phone zone. Draft up an agreement and have you and your child sign it.
- Install an app designed to keep drivers off their phone such as AT&T drive mode, ly, tXtBlocker, Textecution, It Can Wait or Agent.
GreatFlorida Insurance is committed to keeping Floridians safe and protected. Our car insurance policies are reliable and competitively priced to fit your budget. Call or go online for a free quote on auto insurance today.