A study has revealed that people admitted they were compulsive in checking their phones while driving and three-in-four people glanced their phones while driving. The survey was conducted by AT&T as a part of an anti-texting-and-driving campaign.
According to the study, 98 percent of drivers’ self-reported that they were aware of the dangers of texting while driving. More than a quarter of frequent drivers thought they could do various tasks at once while driving and two-thirds said they texted at red-signals or stop signs. Dr. David Greenfield, The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction was also involved in the study. He stated that the compulsive behavior of checking the smartphones was caused dopamine which makes people happy.
“If that desire for a dopamine fix leads us to check our phones while we’re driving, a simple text can turn deadly,” said Greenfield.
Around 43 percent of participants said they text-and-drive as they wanted to remain in touch with loved ones or with work and 30 percent said checking their phones was a habit. The participants admitted of being “anxious” if they did not reply to a message and 17 percent felt that they felt a sense of satisfaction while reading or replying to a message. Greenfield claims that compulsive checking of phones is similar to gambling and drunk driving which might take several years to overcome. About 40 states are in the process of setting up laws to ban the practice while celebrities are signing up for public awareness campaigns.
AT&T also released an app called DriveMode to support the survey that automatically turns the phone silent when the car is driven at a speed of 15 mph or more. The message senders will be notified that the person is driving. The app is available to AT&T Android and Blackberry users while it will be released for iOS in the coming days.
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