Why Can’t People Stop Texting While Driving?
Most people will admit that texting while driving is a dangerous habit and can lead to accidents. Yet, there are so many drivers who keep checking the phone on the road. Why do they do it? It’s like a compulsion that gamblers feel toward betting or racers to speeding whenever touch the car wheel. An addictive force might be stronger in a car where the rational self is mostly busy with driving.
Why Do People Cannot Stop Texting While Driving?
The Texas Department of Transportation polished a report in 2016 stating that 455 people were killed in that year in Texas because of distracted driving. It includes everything you are doing except for keeping your hands on the wheel and eye on the road. When you are distracted, you are at 23% more risk of causing a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), people occupied with something while driving are as impaired as someone who has consumed 4 bottles of beer!
AT&T commissioned a survey in 2015 that revealed that 7 in 10 people use smartphones at the time of driving. The interesting fact is 98% of those people said that they do it despite being aware of the danger.
So, why do people do texting while driving?
According to Dr. David Greenfield, a Psychiatry professor at The University of Connecticut School of Medicine, said that these people show the classic sign of addiction. A neurochemical named dopamine in the brain makes human beings feel happy. Every time you check the phone for updates on social media, responding to texts, or reading an email, the dopamine level increases and gives you a feeling of pleasure. This desire for a dopamine fix is the thing that leads people to the compulsion of checking the phone.
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How to Stop Texting While Driving?
It takes something more than willpower to stop you from doing anything else other than focusing on the road while driving. Remember that it’s not just a bad habit, it’s more like an addition. You can apply these tips to stop texting while driving:
Listen to something interesting
It could be an audiobook, music, or podcasts. Listening to something that you actually like will make you feel happy. As a result, there won’t be a severe urge for a dopamine fix. Try it and you might be able to ignore the ping of an incoming text!
Talk to other passengers
Small chitchats with other passengers in the car will keep you away from the phone. If you are riding with your kids, it could be a great time to catch up with them. However, don’t get absorbed in gossiping because it will shift your focus from the road.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers some good tips on how to break the dangerous habit.
Play car games
If you need something exciting to cure your phone addiction in long journeys, play car games. There are some interesting games such as road trip scavenger hunt, eye spy, license plate bingo, and more that will keep you engaged without meddling with your attention.