Tagging Yourself in a Crash: 1 in 4 Smartphone Owners Use Facebook While Driving

AT&T commissioned a survey that is sure to make you furious at your fellow drivers (if you can get them to put down their Driver Facebook Seattlesmartphones long enough to pay attention to you).

It turns out that people are distracting themselves with a lot more than texting while they're behind the wheel. 

What did the survey cover?

A polling company asked just over two thousand people between the ages of 16 and 65 who drive once a day and own a smart phone:

  • "Where do you keep your smart phone when you're driving?"
  • "What activities do you engage in while driving?"
  • "Why do you engage in [an activity] while driving?

It's reasonable that someone reading this might quibble with the definition of "driving." The survey defined "driving" as being behind the wheel even when the car was not moving. 

How did people respond?

7 out of 10 people interact with their smartphone while driving. They use the facebook app (the most-- 25% of social media activity while driving is on facebook), retweet via Twitter, and heart posts on Tumblr. They google, bing, and yahoo for search results. 

If you do this you should stop. Distracted driving cancels lives. So no excuses anymore. 

How do you stop is a more interesting question. An easy way to stop is to create a thirty-second ritual when you sit down behind the driver's seat but before you start the car. Know which podcast you're going to listen to, finish a chapter of an audiobook, listen to a playlist or a radio station. On-demand audio is in a golden age. As long as you don't distract yourself with it while you're driving.

A larger question still persists: Should Facebook include a reminder not to use its app while driving? Should Twitter activate the accelerometer and deactivate itself if it senses motion? 

 

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