FINGER WAGGING R-US--Whether we’ve driving for decades or are still feeling great about getting your first driver’s license, we know operating a vehicle is a bad idea. We get it.
But Time Magazine in a recent survey of 1,000 drivers noted that nearly 75% say they text every day while driving. Wow, this is scary for both teens and adults.
The Huffington Post blog calls it driving while “intexticated” and point out last year more than 1.5 million teens and adults were in accidents while punching out LOL or OMG. Yikes. Finger wagging from the media say it only takes five seconds for one’s attention to be diverted from the road.
For far too many those five seconds were their last!
Why do we do it!
Time says the survey team led by a professor from University of Connecticut Medical School professor says the “lure of text messages is actually a lot like the appeal of slot machines.”
Prof. Greenfield explains: both can be difficult compulsions to overcome for some people. The buzz of an incoming text message causes the release of dopamine in the brain, which generates excitement, Prof. Greenfield says. If the message turns out to be from someone appealing, even more dopamine is released.
Curbing this compulsion could take years for the text-obsessed, and doing so might resemble efforts to stop drunk driving, Prof. Greenfield says. People need to realize they’re part of the problem before they change their behavior, he adds.
Also, adults who text tend to blame it on teenagers. The Huff Post insists “the statistics don’t lie: teenagers are clueless to the idea of how dangerous texting can be while driving.”
But that last quote is simply a pure case of the kettle (adults) calling the pot (teens) black. You don’t need stats to know everyone who texts and drive is wrong and is to blame!
So, what are we doing about it?
Time Magazine says, Multiple public awareness campaigns have taken to the airwaves and internet to target the practice, but it’s unclear how effective they are, given that the public seems to be largely aware of the issue. There might be more actionable solutions in the very near future, however. AT&T, which sponsored Greenfield’s study as part of its “It Can Wait Campaign,” has an app that switches on when a person is driving more than 15 mph and silences incoming text message alerts.
That gives humanity about ten minutes before an app is created to override the above app.
Let's face it this is a case when common sense can go a long way. Get your texting done before you start the engine and put on your seat belt.
Older types will admit that they always didn’t use seat belts when they were first added to cars. Now everyone buckles up. It can be done. We can do it. Focus.