It seems pretty simple: Texting and driving is dangerous. Everyone gets taught about it in driver’s training. Even those who took the training years ago, before texting was a concern, have seen the commercials and ads and Public Service Announcements. People know that texting in the car carries a level of risk and can cause accidents, and that’s why state after state has moved to ban it.
Yet, people still do it. Undoubtedly, there are some cases of ignorance, where people do not understand the risk despite all of the information that is out there, but these are likely rare. Most people know. Why do they text and drive anyway?
1. Overestimating abilities
One potential reason is that drivers overestimate their own abilities. They think that, while it’s dangerous for everyone else, they’re good enough that it’s not as dangerous for them. The problem, of course, is that a lot of people think this way, and the accident statistics show that they’re wrong.
2. Trying to multitask
Another issue is that people attempt to multitask, even though doing so really means splitting their focus and jumping back and forth between tasks, not doing multiple tasks at the same time. Again, people also assume that they can do it even if it’s hard for others.
3. Facing outside pressure
Unfortunately, the ease of communication afforded by the cellphone has created a culture where people expect to get answers to their texts quickly. If people don’t respond in as little as 15 minutes, they can start to get frustrated. Gone are the days when you called someone’s landline and, if they weren’t home, you just couldn’t speak to them.
This new outlook can create pressure. Someone may hear the text come in and know they shouldn’t check it. They’ll also know that they’re an hour from their destination, though, and they’ll feel like that’s too long to wait. They’ll try to text and drive because of that pressure.
4. Dealing with addiction
Phone addiction is also a considerable problem. This is true with more than texting; some people feel essentially addicted to those social media notifications that someone liked a photo they posted or commented on a status. After a short time without looking at the phone, they can’t stop thinking about what they may have missed. They’ll risk their lives, and the lives of others, by deciding to check the phone while in the car.
These are just four reasons why phone use in the car continues, and why it’s not going to end any time soon. There are plenty more. If you get hit by a distracted driver and suffer serious injuries, you must know what legal options you have.