Are You Compulsive About Texting and Driving? Survey Says… You Could Be

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Expert on Tech Addiction Says Issue Cuts Straight to the Brain

If the ring, beep or buzz of your cell phone triggers an intense urge to respond, and you find yourself reaching for the phone – even when you’re driving – you’re not alone.

A new survey commissioned by AT&T* and Dr. David Greenfield, founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Connecticut School of Medicine, found that twice as many people as self-reported cell phone addiction are showing compulsive phone behaviors – with three-in-four people admitting to at least glancing at their phones while behind the wheel.

“We compulsively check our phones because every time we get an update through text, email or social media, we experience an elevation of dopamine, which is a neurochemical in the brain that makes us feel happy,” says Dr. Greenfield. “If that desire for a dopamine fix leads us to check our phones while we’re driving, a simple text can turn deadly.”

The study, fielded as part of the Texting & Driving … It Can Wait® campaign, was released as AT&T focuses on helping people find ways to resist the urge to text and drive at a potentially deadly moment of temptation. The survey included some startling revelations about how our attachment to our mobile phones can lead us to use them when we’re driving – even when we know we shouldn’t.

While over 90 percent say they know texting and driving is dangerous, many rationalize their texting-and-driving behavior—a classic sign of addiction, according to Dr. Greenfield. Nearly three-in-ten said they can easily do several things at once, even while driving. “However, many objective studies show that’s not possible,” says Dr. Greenfield.

To learn more about It Can Wait, please visit The AT&T DriveMode app is available for free on the App Store for iPhone or at

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