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Study Shows Drivers Do More Than Text

text driving

I think most people can agree that texting while driving is a really bad idea. In fact, it’s been outlawed in almost all of the United States including the District of Columbia. However, smartphone users have not only continued to text, but have expanded to doing even more dangerous and ridiculous things with their smartphones while behind the wheel.

Braun Research conducted an AT&T-funded study where they interviewed more than 2,000 adults aged 16 – 65 who owned a smartphone and drove at least once a day. And of those 2,000 people, it turns out that:

  • 61% read or sent texts
  • 33% read or sent emails
  • 28% surfed the internet behind the wheel
  • 27% viewed or posted to Facebook (22% of people who use social media while driving cited addiction as a reason)
  • 17% snapped a selfie or other photo
  • 14% viewed or posted on Instagram
  • 14% viewed or posted on Twitter (and of those, 30% said they do it “all the time”)
  • 12% recorded a video
  • 10% ¬†conducted a video chat while driving

Whatever happened to just listening to the radio and focusing on the road? Of all of those, I have to say that the video chat probably scared me the most. And, what is probably the most shocking to me: of those who said they shot video behind the wheel, 27% said they thought they could do it safely.

Clearly we need to have some sort of public discourse or perhaps just working with kids about the dangers of using a smartphone while driving. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been in an accident ¬†because someone else had their nose in their phone, or how often I’ll look over at a stoplight to see people with phones in their hands.

In response to this study, AT&T has expanded its It Can Wait program to try and help educate people about the dangers of paying more attention to the road than to your phone. Personally, I can’t believe that people need to be reminded or taught this, but apparently common sense isn’t so common.

Smartphones are awesome. So is breathing. Put the phone away and enjoy the road!