It may be the ultimate case of "Do as I say, not as I do."
While 98% of drivers in a recent AT&T poll said they were aware of the dangers of texting behind the wheel, three-quarters admitted to doing it anyway. The poll focused on cellphone owners ages 16 to 65 who texted at least once a day.
Their reasons ranged from wanting to stay connected with friends, family, and work to simply doing it out of habit. Others said they felt pressured – that is, they believe people expect them to respond to texts right away. More than a quarter said "they can easily do several things at once, even while driving."
Washington was among the first states in the nation to ban texting while driving, and it's poised to crack down again. A distracted driving bill (PDF) in Olympia would make it illegal for drivers to use wireless communications devices even at stoplights. The legislation is aimed at curbing smartphone use for social media and GPS, two concerns that didn't exist when the state's original law was enacted. The bill's language excludes electronics integrated into the vehicle and allows handheld use when a car is safely stopped on the side of the road.
Regardless of the bill's outcome, there's help for anyone who can't seem to resist the lure of a text ping. A slew of apps (some free) silence text message alerts when they detect certain levels of motion, including AT&T's popular DriveMode, which is available for both Android and iPhone.