Can’t stop texting while driving? Maybe you are addicted
On behalf of Steven Crell of Steve Crell Law posted in Personal Injury on Tuesday, July 14, 2015.
You know you have seen other drivers and you know they are texting or using a cellphone. Their heads are down, their car is moving suspiciously slow or weaving around the lanes or they do not move when the traffic light turns green.
And they are not alone. In spite of many states, including Indiana, banning texting while driving, it still happens millions of times every day. The Indiana law is a primary law, meaning you can be arrested on suspicion of texting alone. But that does not make it an easy law for the police to enforce.
Enforcement has been weak and ineffective and that is one reason why drivers continue flout the law and text while they drive. A recent survey found that 61 percent of drivers text, and 30 percent text and drive all of the time.
While government statistics estimate that about 3,100 fatal traffic crashes are attributable to distracted driving, it is likely the numbers are greater, as it is not always obvious when looking at a crash to determine if a driver was travelling too fast and missed a curve or was texting and did not notice the curve until it was too late.
But smartphones are just so darned useful, they are hard to put down. They may also be addictive, in a literal sense, when it comes to texting. A researcher notes texting can have the same effect on the brain’s dopamine receptors as playing a slot machine.
Given their ubiquity, utility and addictiveness, it is likely that a real solution to the problem will either require much more severe penalties or technology that will lock-out features when the vehicle is in motion.
Until that day, you can still help, using the old school solution of turning your phone off when you get in the car.
Source: cbsnews.com, “Are drivers getting high from behind-the-wheel phone use?” CBS NEWS, June 25, 2015