Why do people still text and drive?

Many people continue to text and drive even though they know this dangerous activity can be harmful to others.

Distracted driving, and particularly texting and driving, is a significant problem in Georgia and throughout the rest of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that approximately 1,000 people are injured in distracted driving collisions every day and nine people are killed. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that in 2015 alone, distracted driving took the lives of 3,477 people. Although many people recognize that texting and driving is dangerous to themselves and others, many continue to engage in this activity when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

The motivator behind texting drivers

In a study completed in 2014, 1,000 drivers were surveyed and 98 percent reported they knew texting and driving was dangerous. However, 75 percent of the participants stated they continued to text and drive.

Researchers believe drivers are tempted to text and drive, even though they recognize its dangers, because the notification of an incoming text message releases dopamine in the brain, which creates excitement. Even a greater amount of dopamine is released if the message is sent by someone the receiver finds appealing.

Other forms of distraction

Although texting and driving is one of the main forms of distraction that threatens the lives of passengers, pedestrians and drivers, there are many other types of distraction that can be harmful to others. For example, drivers become distracted and harm their ability to drive safely when they:

  • Attempt to eat or drink behind the wheel
  • Toy with the radio in an effort to find the right station
  • Groom themselves on their way to work
  • Pay more attention to a conversation with a passenger than the road in front of them
  • Talk to a friend on their cellphone
  • Focus on a GPS device to figure out where they should be driving

However, texting and driving is particularly dangerous because it combines all three forms of distraction. These include manual, cognitive and visual distraction.

Reach out to an attorney

Those who are injured in a car accident in Georgia caused by a driver who failed to pay full attention to the road may have a hard time handling normal daily activities successfully, and they may also experience significant mental, physical and financial difficulties. For these reasons, car accident victims should reach out to an attorney in their area following the collision to ensure their rights to fair and proper compensation are protected.