The text and drive epidemic continues to rise, particularly among college students, because young adults choose text and drive despite the risk.
Although teens and college students understand the risks associated with the decision to text and drive, 8 out of 10 report that they still text and drive, according to research from Kings College in Pennsylvania.
Even as the nation’s anti text and drive crusaders celebrate victories in legislation from far-flung states, including landmark new laws in Florida and New York in 2013, the actual numbers of text and drive cases remind us that the text and drive epidemic is still getting worse rather than better.
According to the study, “the personality traits of impulsiveness and a need to be connected were linked to voluntarily undertaking such a dangerous act,” as reported by Business Insider.
Worse, the study also indicated that impulsiveness is combined with strong habit creation and a sense of invulnerability, which together creates a powerful inducer to text and drive.
“There seems to be a mentality that use of electronic devices is dangerous to ‘anyone but me’ according to researchers Gerold Lantz and Sandra Loeb.
The study brings into questions what legislators, educators, and parents – at least where teens are concerned – can do to actively curb the text and drive epidemic. Previous research from 2012 indicates that the chances of getting into a wreck are 23X the normal rate when the individual chooses to text and drive, making it the most dangerous activity to undertake on the road.
At least for teens, there may be a solution. MMGuardian’s Safe Driving feature lets parents choose to block their teens’ ability to text while in a moving car. It’s not the catch-all, especially for college students who are legal adults, but it is one answer for parents of rebellious teens who text and drive on the roads.