Is Texting While Driving a Compulsive Behavior?

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It’s something most of us know we shouldn’t be doing: the statistics have shown, again and again, that texting while driving can have very serious consequences. Despite this, however, many people continue to text and drive.

According to a new survey commissioned by AT&T as part of the Texting & Driving … It Can Wait campaign, texting while driving may actually be a compulsive behavior. Twice as many people surveyed showed signs of compulsive phone behaviors than self-reported cell phone addiction, with nearly three out of four people reporting that they would, at the very least, glance at their phones while they were driving.

Dr. David Greenfield, founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, notes that every time we check our phones to get an update, whether in a text message, on email or through social media, the brain releases more dopamine, a chemical which makes us feel happy. If we get addicted to the feeling of the dopamine we may find ourselves checking our phones even in situations when we know we shouldn’t, such as while we’re driving, just to experience the feelings initiated by the dopamine.

While over 90 percent of those surveyed said they knew texting while driving was bad, the survey found that many of the people rationalized their behavior. According to Dr. Greenfield, such rationalizations are a classic sign of addiction.

Fortunately, research shows that people who are most likely to text while driving are also the ones who are most likely to take actions to stop such behavior.

What can you do if you find yourself suffering from the compulsive need to text while you’re driving? The Texting & Driving … It Can Wait campaign is promoting the use of the hashtag #X on social media to indicate a pause in the conversation before you start driving. So before you start your car, use the hashtag #X on social media, in your texts or on email, to indicate to others that you’re pausing the conversation because you’ll be driving, and you’ll get back to them when you arrive – safely – at your destination.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Los Angeles automobile accident due to distracted driving, Bradley I. Kramer and his experienced legal team are here to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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