Nearly half of all commuters admit to texting while driving even though 98 percent know it’s dangerous, a new poll sponsored by AT&T shows.
The 49 percent figure is higher than reported in other surveys. Worse, the AT&T poll, released Thursday, shows that 60 percent of commuters did not text while driving three years ago. That means at least 10 percent of people who drive to work took up the texting-while-driving habit recently — and that’s what 40 percent of them call it, the AT&T survey shows — a habit.
An April, 2012 poll of 1,200 teen drivers, also sponsored by AT&T, showed that 43 percent text while driving including 11 percent who admit to doing so “often.” That poll is not directly comparable to the recent adult poll, and, of course, teens might be less likely to admit what they’re doing.
AT&T did not release data showing how often people text while driving to work, how extensively or how they do it, or whether they send texts in addition to reading texts and emails. Regardless, it’s clearly a dangerous and preventable activity and in my non-professional observation, it seems to function like an addiction.
AT&T is beefing up its “It Can Wait” campaign to stop texting while driving, calling on employers to ask their commuters to take the no-texting pledge — which has been done by 1.3 million people, many of them teens. The company has used videos with young people such as Jamie Nash giving their horror stories of texting while driving, and is now trying to spread the word to adults.
The commuter poll was conducted by ResearchNow. The teen driving poll was done by Beck Research.