Text Us!

Studies Show that People Still Text and Drive When They Know the Risks

Posted on


A recent alarming study revealed that 98% of drivers understand how dangerous it is to text and drive, and yet 75% of them still engage in this hazardous behavior. Knowing perfectly well that they could seriously injure or even kill someone by doing so, they continue to text and drive. This means that no amount of education and increased awareness is going to save lives when it comes to texting and driving. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we should stop trying to educate drivers on the risks, but it does mean that we can’t count on that education to change how many people are injured and killed by this activity.

Why Education Doesn’t Stop Texting and Driving Injuries and Deaths

The biggest reason that educating drivers about the risks associated with texting and driving is largely ineffective is

Attorney Elrod Pope Auto Accidents
If you’ve experienced an auto accident, talk to Rock Hill Attorney Elrod Pope today.

because people tend to think that they are the exception to the rule. A lot of drivers will acknowledge that texting and driving is dangerous, and even deadly; but in the same breath, they will express their confidence in their own ability to safely text and drive and complete any number of other distracting tasks without causing harm.

A prime example of this is found in the parents who prohibit their teen drivers from texting while driving, but model the opposite behavior by doing so themselves. People often think that others are less capable than themselves, when the reality is that everyone who texts and drives is at risk of causing an accident because of their distractions. When you’re not looking at the road, it doesn’t really matter how much experience you have with driving. Decades of driving experience won’t give you the ability to see when your eyes are closed (or distracted by texting).

The Compulsive Need to View and Respond to Text Messages

Even if a driver acknowledges that he or she is no safer while texting and driving than anyone else, they may still engage in this behavior because viewing and responding to text messages becomes a kind of compulsion for almost everyone. Every time you receive a text message, your brain responds by releasing hormones that make you feel good (dopamine). This is addictive, and is the same reason that people become addicted to drugs that cause the same hormonal release, though drug use tends to have a stronger hold on the brain.

Still, recognizing that texting affects the same hormones in your brain that are affected by smoking cigarettes or doing harmful illegal drugs can help you to understand why it’s so hard to not look at your phone when you hear a text come in. It is then difficult not to respond to those messages in an effort to keep the messages coming in and keep the dopamine flowing. Once you understand these issues, you may be able to take steps to get around them. If you find that you are far too tempted to view and respond to text messages, then you may need to actually turn off your phone while driving to avoid putting yourself and others at risk.

Legislation Against Texting and Driving is More Effective than Education

Other studies have revealed that legislation is far more effective at preventing texting and driving auto accidents than any educational efforts and campaigns. The American Journal of Public Health conducted a study over the course of 11 years and discovered that whenever states passed legislation to prevent texting and driving, those states were preventing about 20 texting and driving related auto accident deaths each year.

The downside to such legislation is that drivers who decide to text and drive anyway are more motivated to hide the fact that they are doing it. This means that they are not only distracted from the road by their texting, but also by the need to keep an eye out for police who might catch them doing it. Still, if such legislation saves as many as 20 people every year from a tragic auto accident death, then it is certainly worthwhile.

Texting and Driving Laws in North and South Carolina

In North Carolina and South Carolina, it is illegal to text and drive unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as emergencies. There is a loophole, however. There is no law against holding a handheld device while driving unless you are under 18. In South Carolina, there is no law against holding a handheld device while driving at all. There have been proposals and efforts to change this, in an effort to prevent any kind of distractions from handheld devices while driving. Even so, the bans on texting and driving are primary laws, so that the police can pull you over if they see you texting or think you are texting, and they don’t have to have another reason to pull you over, such as erratic driving. Even if you are driving perfectly well, looking at your phone could get you pulled over. While you might be able to deny that you were texting, your phone being open to a recently sent text message could prove you a liar.

What To Do After a Texting and Driving Auto Accident

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident that was caused by a driver who was texting and driving, and therefore distracted, then you can file a claim for compensation with their auto insurance policy. Further, that driver will likely face legal consequences. Yet, it can be difficult to prove that someone was actually texting and driving. It is possible to get their phone records or view the data on their phones or their social media accounts. If you or someone else saw them texting, then testimony to that effect could help. If the person is caught with their phone in their hand, especially open to a text message, then this could make a major difference in proving your claim. Contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm to learn more.

Get in touch with us today to get started with your FREE case review. We’re only a call, click, or short drive away.

*Disclaimer* The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this Website contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. The Firm expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this Website.

Any information sent to The Firm by Internet e-mail or through the Website is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis. Transmission of information from this Website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and The Firm, nor is it intended to do so. The transmission of the Website, in part or in whole, and/or any communication with us via Internet e-mail through this site does not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship between us and any recipients.

Some links within the Website may lead to other web-sites, including those operated and maintained by third parties. The Firm includes these links solely as a convenience to you, and the presence of such a link does not imply a responsibility for the linked site or an endorsement of the linked site, its operator, or its contents.

This Website and its contents are provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.

Furthermore, The Firm does not wish to represent anyone desiring representation based upon viewing this Website in a state where this Website fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.

E-production, distribution, republication, and/or retransmission of material contained within The Firm Website is prohibited unless the prior written permission of The Firm has been obtained.

Any results achieved on behalf of one client do not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

Fee Disclosure: If your case is taken on by the firm, the fee arrangement will be a percentage of the final value of the case as follows: up to 40% for litigation, 35% for pre-litigation, and 33% for workers comp. This calculation will be done before the deduction of expenses. Additionally, the client will be responsible for the expenses resulting from the case.