Why We Can’t Stop Texting and Driving
Sunday reminds me of the first day of a diet. It's a day we've all known was inevitable years ago, before the hands-free law was passed. Just as we all know eating fatty and sugary foods is bad for us, most of us still do it.
And so it is when it comes to distracted driving. Texting while driving is amateur hour now. If you watch closely, you'll see people on Facebook, or Facetime, or even watching YouTube videos. You'd have to be a special kind of stupid to be a driver and not realize that you are putting yourself and everyone around you in danger when you behave this way, but take a look at the driver beside you at the next red light. I'd give you 3-to-1 odds that the person next to you has their eyes looking down at a phone while they're stopped at that light.
It's because people think they are better drivers than they really are. A scientific study has shown that 80 percent of drivers believe their driving abilities to be "above average." This is precisely why after all these years of headlines and deadly accidents, there are still very intelligent people who feel like they have a talent to text and drive safely. It's human nature. The Dunning-Kruger effect demonstrates that "The lowest-ranking students, consistently and substantially overestimated their own ability." Students that were actually in the bottom quarter ranked themselves as being in the top 33 percent.
It will be interesting to see how things change after this weekend. How many tickets will need to be handed out before we as a society will be willing to change this behavior?