I see them every day. They're at every stoplight, they're in every lane of traffic on the freeway, they're in every parking lot. All of them are putting my life and my family's lives at risk. I'm talking about distracted drivers, and they make me angry.
Here's the worst part: They know what they're doing is dangerous, and they do it anyway. They just don't care. Fox News reported on the results of research by AT&T:
In a new survey, 98 percent of motorists who own cellphones and text regularly said they were aware of the dangers, yet three-quarters of them admitted to texting while driving, despite laws against it in some states. Two-thirds said they have read text messages while stopped at a red light or stop sign, while more than a quarter said they have sent texts while driving.
That's simply staggering. If you extrapolate those results to the general population, we're talking about hundreds of thousands of cars, all of them ticking time bombs, waiting to go off and hurt you or family.
The survey also asked respondents why they texted while driving despite knowing the dangers. This is what it found:
- Forty-three percent of the texting drivers said they want to "stay connected" to friends, family and work. Nearly a third did it out of habit.
- Twenty-eight percent said they are worried about missing out on something important if they don't check their phones right away.
- More than a quarter believes that their driving performance is not affected by texting, and just as many people said they believe that others expect them to respond to texts "right away."
- Just 6 percent answered that they are "addicted to texting," although 14 percent admitted that they are "anxious" if they don't respond to a text right away, and 17 percent feel "a sense of satisfaction" when they can read or respond to a text message.
None of those are valid excuses - not when lives are on the line. We've seen it far too often: promising lives cut tragically short, whole families decimated, typically decent people behind bars. I promise you: Never in your life will you ever receive a text message that can't wait until you pull over and park. It can wait. Click here to watch a video I made about the tragedies of texting and driving.