Even though the dangers of texting while driving are well known, a recent study found that four out of five college students choose to do it anyways. The study was intended to look at the relationship between having an impulsive personality and the likelihood of texting while driving, but instead found that impulsiveness was not a predictor for those surveyed.
Instead, they found that the men they surveyed tended to downplay the true danger of texting behind the wheel and were under the impression that if they are skilled drivers that they were not at a high risk of being involved in a texting while driving car accident. Of course even a skilled driver will be at risk of an accident if they take their eyes off of the road, which is necessary to read or compose a text message. During those few seconds anything can happen and the slower reaction time of someone who has not been watching the road can be the difference between a safe maneuver away from danger and a serious or fatal car crash.
Texting while driving is illegal in many states including California, but that does not stop everyone from texting. In fact, state laws prohibiting texting while driving seem to have had very little impact on the distracted driving accident rate nationwide. Reachers are continuing to look at different ways to discourage the behavior by understanding the root of why we choose to do it and what makes texting more or less likely.
Source: LATimes.com, “Males downplay risk of texting and driving, study says,” Monte Morin, Oct. 11, 2013