Texting and driving can result in a fatal accident, but you, like most American drivers, probably already knew that. However, what you may not yet know is that education and awareness campaigns may not be enough to prevent people from texting and driving. They might not be able to prevent distracted driving. They might not be able to keep you safe.
Cell Phone Use May Be Similar to an Addiction
A recent study conducted by the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and commissioned by AT&T found that many people exhibit signs of compulsive behavior when it comes to using their cell phones. More specifically, every time we are notified of a text message, an email, or a social media alert on our phone we experience an elevation of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical released in our brains that makes us feel happy. However, if we act on the impulse to respond to a text alert while we are driving, then it may also kill us or others on the road.
Why Does This Matter?
If cell phone use while driving is seen as an addiction, it may require a different solution to prevent fatal accidents. Awareness will, of course, continue to be an important part of the solution. However, other steps may also be necessary to help people understand why they text and drive and to encourage them to put down their cell phones and drive safely. Cell phones may need to be disabled or put far away from the reach of the driver, for example.
Please help raise awareness about this study and about what it could mean for the prevention of distracted driving accidents by sharing this blog post on Facebook or Twitter. Together, we can work toward preventing the type of accidents that end lives and destroy families.