Majority of Drivers Admit Texting While Driving

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

MSNBC reports the results of a Harris poll commissioned by mobile messaging service Pinger. The survey says… 91 percent of Americans want texting while driving banned. In the true spirit of "do as I say, not as I do," the poll also reveals that 57 percent of those sampled admit to sending text messages while driving. Washington State has already banned texting while driving, and six other states are considering similar legislation. Pinger has particular interest in getting the laws passed– they provide a voice messaging service. Their press release claims they offer "a safer way for drivers to stay in touch from the road" when "combined with a hands-free headset." However, that only helps the 57 percent who send messages. Incoming message notifications arrive in the form of a text message, so the 66 percent who admit that they read text messages while driving are still at risk. Doh!

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  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Aug 08, 2007

    LoserBoy is exactly right. When I talk to people about my feeling that autonomous automobiles are inevitable, I find that the tiny minority (it's estimated to be about three percent of all U.S. drivers, largely based on buff-magazine readership) of drivers who are enthusiasts invariably say, "You'll have to wrest that gear shifter out of my cold dead hands," etc, etc. ad infinitum. Yet the huge majority of drivers say, "Wow, you mean it's possible that within my lifetime there will be cars that do the driving for me and I can spend my time doing other stuff? I love it! Show me where I can buy one!" We enthusiasts forget that we're enthused by an act that the vast majority of the populace finds as thrilling as loading the dryer or vacuuming the livingroom. It's called getalife (for us, not them).

  • Glenn Swanson Glenn Swanson on Aug 08, 2007
    Stephan Wilkinson: We enthusiasts forget that we’re enthused by an act that the vast majority of the populace finds as thrilling as loading the dryer or vacuuming the livingroom. It’s called getalife (for us, not them). While I agree the general populace seems to find driving just another task to bear, I’d respectfully disagree that it is us enthusiasts who are truly out of the loop, if you will. In my opinion, it’s the sheeple who are out of touch with reality when it comes to driving. Oh yea, right, they watch reality TV. Never mind. It is us who enjoy [s]reality[/s] driving who need to get a life. My bad.
  • HawaiiJim HawaiiJim on Aug 09, 2007

    Regrettably, the driving distractions will likely continue to multiply. There simply aren't enough police to enforce safe driving mandates. Drivers read books while in traffic, drive with dogs in their laps, apply lipstick, text message, drink beer, run red lights, and on and on. Our only recourse seems to be driving cars that are, to the greatest extent possible, built to protect us from the careless. Let's root for the automakers to innovate, innovate, and innovate in designing for safety.

  • Glenn Swanson Glenn Swanson on Aug 09, 2007

    BTW: I'd agree with LoserBoy and Stephen that many would buy a self-driving car if available and affordable.