And it’s even worse while driving, it seems. What is it about the flashing light or the icon showing you have a new message that is so difficult to resist? But, certainly, difficult it is.
I wonder if there is some chemical emitted at the moment the message arrives that changes our brainwaves, causing the receiver to want to read it immediately. But in the name of road safety, your own health, and the greater good of mankind, resist the urge to touch your phone while driving.
Again, I say, resist! If the addiction has taken you beyond the point of self-control, consider never driving alone. Then someone else can read those probably-not-that-important-anyway message your text message deprived mind so badly craves.
How bad is it? Difficult to judge really, but you know it when you see someone weaving oddly along the road. Usually driving a touch slower than they should be.
Perhaps the AA should set up a group called TMA – Text Message Anonymous.
“Hi, my name’s Dave and I’m a WhatsApp-oholic.”
That could work. Just about everyone has a phone these days. Even pedestrians need to be more careful. Perhaps, like jaywalking, there should be fines for WWW – WhatsApping While Walking.
The fault most certainly does not lie with the great apps, the fault lies in the user’s complete lack of discipline and/or consideration. Think about it. Fewer people drink than text message. Surely.
It would be interesting to know what the drinking vs text messaging while driving ratio is, and which causes more accidents. My guess (and it’s a guess) is that text messaging will increasingly pose more problems. And the punishment for doing so? Not jail, but the deletion of data. That would have more effect.
Similar to a 3-year-old being denied TV watching privileges because he won’t pick up his toys, or finish his meal. That kind of punishment works. Maybe vehicle manufacturers could somehow build cars in such a way that makes texting impossible for the driver.
Perhaps in the future the engineers building new highways should set up stop-off spots where motorists can stop for a few moments and go through their messages?
Lots to think about as our roads get busier and more frantic.