Kicking The Texting and Driving “Addiction” To The Curb

Posted on May 16, 2013

Might letting go of one’s cellphone at the wheel be harder than many people probably realize?  A new article looks at cellphone driving as if it were an addiction that needs to be kicked.

A Missoula, Montana news team spoke with an addiction counselor to learn whether there might be some credence to the idea that an individual can get so addicted to their phone that they literally cannot put it down while driving.  That counselor explains that addiction is all about developing patterns that a person can’t easily extricate themselves from.  It gets to the point that thinking doesn’t even have to take place in order to indulge in the behavior.

Still, he explains that he doesn’t believe there’s enough data to suggestion that texting and cellphone usage is an addiction.  Instead, he prefers the term compulsion.  A person believes a communication is imminent and thus can’t let go of their phone.

To avoid this dangerous behavior, the counselor advises speaking with a trusted acquaintance and to compile with that person a series of sentences explaining the importance of safety.  One could even put a photo of something important to you or a warning sticker within view of the driver’s seat so that you can look to those every time you’re tempted to text.  Also think about investing in a GPS so that you can put the phone away when you need directions.

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