The majority of drivers refuse to believe texting while driving is dangerous. Yet, drivers who text are six times more likely to be involved in an automobile accident, according to the Society for Risk Analysis reports.
The study found that most people will not follow the law or have enough common sense to refrain from texting while driving. They concluded that “fear of missing out” and separation anxiety were the main reasons those surveyed continued to text and drive. In fact, 68% of people polled said they needed a lot more convincing to believe it was dangerous at all.
While the actual risk for drivers depends on what is needed from them both physically and cognitively during an outward distraction, texting is not ever advisable. For example, the risk of an accident for those speaking on a cell phone increases by 2.2 times, while texting increases the risk by 6.1 times.
The participants in this particular study were drivers in Australia answering a questionnaire. Specifically, 447 drivers were asked about their perceived crash risk, driving comfort, and perceived likelihood of talking on a cellphone or texting while driving among other things.
The conclusion proved that newer drivers participated more in distracted driving, while women in general were more likely to talk on the phone rather than text.
According to the study’s press release, some individuals developed “strategies to cope with environmental factors, while maintaining a high level of performance.” These drivers apparently knew to refrain from using their phones during traffic or while driving on roads with less than ideal driving conditions.
But for the vast majority who needed convincing, the presence of law enforcement and heavy traffic conditions seemed to effectively deter them from phone usage.
Not surprisingly, the recommendations made in the press release were in support of high-visibility police enforcement programs to combat cellphone use for all drivers.