Distracted Drivers Text and Use Social Media While Driving
A new study conducted by AT&T reveals some alarming behavior among distracted drivers. The study polled more than 2,000 people who use smartphones and drive at least once a day. It found that not only do some drivers text, they also use social media and even snap selfies while driving. Four in ten smartphone users will log in to social media and three out of ten surf the net while driving. An alarming one in ten even go so far as to video chat while behind the wheel.
The study reveals that seven out of ten people will engage in smartphone activities while driving, with texting and emailing still the most common. Facebook is the most used social media app by those operating a motor vehicle, while seven in ten users will also use Twitter.
The following is a breakdown of the smartphone activities people engage in while driving:
- Text, 61%
- Email, 33%
- Surf the web, 28%
- Facebook, 27%
- Snap photo/selfie, 17%
- Twitter, 14%
- Instagram, 14%
- Film video, 12%
- Snapchat, 11%
- Video chat, 10%
The study further found that more than 62% of all drivers keep their phones within reach while driving. A third of drivers admit to using Twitter while driving on a constant basis. Those that access social media while driving admit that it is addictive, while those who shoot videos feel they can do so safely.
Based on the results of this disturbing study, AT&T plans to expand its "It Can Wait®" campaign to focus not just on texting while driving, but also the use of social media and other smartphone related driving distractions.
Georgia's Laws Concerning Cell Phone Use
In Georgia, it is illegal for any driver to text while driving. The law expressly bans a driver from using any cell phone, computer, text messaging device, or other wireless device to read, send, write, or text while driving. Cell phone usage is not banned in the state; however, novice drivers, those under the age of 18, are prohibited from all cell phone use while driving.
Those who text while driving face fines of $150 and the addition of one point on their driving record. The law is considered a "primary" law, meaning that a police officer can pull you over for texting absent any other traffic violations.
This recent AT&T study may compel Georgia and other states to amend texting while driving laws to also ban the use of cameras, social media, and surfing the web, among other dangerous smartphone activities.
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