Check out this thought-provoking article from the Boston Globe about why texting and driving remains such a persistent problem. We all know that texting and driving can be dangerous (and by "all,"the article cites an amazing 94% figure from a federal survey about the number of people who know this is a risky practice). Yet we do it anyway, in large numbers. Why? The Globe posits:
It seems clear something powerful is at work,
overriding people’s knowledge that what they’re doing behind the wheel
is dangerous. To figure out what that something might be, psychology and
communications researchers around the world have started studying what
exactly is happening in our heads when we reach for a phone in the car.
What their research so far suggests is that texting and driving is
unlike any public safety issue we’ve dealt with before. It’s not like
the judgment error of drinking too much and deciding to drive home
anyway; it’s not like neglecting to put on your seat belt. That’s
because at the center of the problem, the experts say, is an entirely
new kind of object—the modern smartphone—that has become embedded in our
consciousness in a way that’s changing our behavior on a massive scale.
The article concludes that the solution might lie in changing social norms rather than merely telling the public what they already know — and are ignoring — about the dangers of texting and driving.