New survey examines why drivers continue to text and drive

A new survey found that there are many reasons why drivers continue to text and drive, despite recognizing the dangers of this activity.

Many drivers in Tennessee endanger the lives of those around them when they pull out their cellphone to read, send or compose a text message, even though they know it is a dangerous activity. In a recent survey conducted by AT&T, it was discovered that 98 percent of drivers recognize the dangers of texting and driving, yet three-quarters do it anyway and that there are many reasons why drivers continue to participate in this form of distracted driving.

For example, approximately 43 percent of the texting drivers who participated in this survey reported that they continued to text and drive behind the wheel because they want to stay connected with their family members, friends and the people they work with and almost a third of the drivers admitted that they continue to text and drive out of habit. Some of the other reasons cited by the participants relating to why they text and drive included feelings of anxiousness if they do not respond to a text right away, a concern that they will miss out on something important and the belief that their driving performance is not affected when they text behind the wheel.

Texting is a hazardous form of distraction

While using a smartphone while driving to text is dangerous, there are many other types of distraction that threaten the lives of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. For example, a driver can compromise his or her ability to drive safely when he or she:

  • Tries to eat or drink behind the wheel of a vehicle
  • Fixes his or her hair while his or her vehicle is in motion
  • Changes the station on the radio or talks to another person using a handheld or hands-free device

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that texting and driving are particularly dangerous because it combines all three types of driver distraction. These include manual, cognitive and visual distraction.

Tennessee’s texting ban

To deter drivers from texting and driving behind the wheel of a vehicle, according to Distraction.gov, it is a primary offense for drivers in Tennessee to text and drive. This means that law enforcement officials can pull a driver over solely because he or she is texting and operating a vehicle simultaneously.

Despite this ban, many drivers in Tennessee and throughout the country are injured or killed in distracted driving-related collisions every day. According to the CDC, over 1,000 people are injured and approximately nine people are killed in accidents involving distraction on a daily basis. If you sustained serious injuries in a motor vehicle collision caused by a distracted driver, speak with an attorney in your area to determine what you can do to hold the other driver legally and financially accountable for his or her actions.