Smartphones have made it easy for us to stay connected at all times. But sending text messages, checking emails or your Facebook wall whilst driving, poses serious safety risks to yourself and other motorists. According to BusinessTech, South Africa has one of the highest road accident rates in the world. Using a mobile device while driving is the cause of over 25% of road accidents. According to Polity.org.za, who posted a recent study conducted by Ipsos, 41% of motorists are guilty of texting, emailing or using social media whilst driving. With statistics like these and fatality numbers on the rise, why do motorists continue to put lives at risk?
A recent study by Dr. David Greenfield from the University of Connecticut Medical School, explained that the lure to read and respond to text messages is a lot like the appeal of slot machines; both can be difficult compulsions to overcome. The thrill of an incoming text message causes the release of dopamine in the brain, creating the feeling of excitement. Technological addiction drives this behavior and unfortunately, the need to stay connected continues after stepping behind the wheel.
Texting and driving is a major concern globally. AT&T, an American multinational telecommunications corporation, published a video ‘It can wait’, illustrating the devastating consequences of texting and driving.
One of the best ways, says Arrive Alive, to curb texting while driving is to make it socially unacceptable, particularly among teens. It is illegal for a motorist to use a handheld phone behind the wheel and lawmakers are taking notice of the seriousness and prevalence of texting while driving.
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