Texting While Driving Continues To Be A Huge Problem Among Workers - InformationWeek

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10/21/2008
10:06 AM
Jim Manico
Jim Manico
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Texting While Driving Continues To Be A Huge Problem Among Workers

Last month I got some grief when I confessed to texting while driving in a post that appeared on bMighty.com sister site SmallBizResource.com.

Last month I got some grief when I confessed to texting while driving in a post that appeared on bMighty.com sister site SmallBizResource.com.OK, really it was just from one reader, who basically agreed with my stupidity, then took exception with my self-absorption. Ouch! My admission came on the heels of L.A.'s deadly train crash in which cell phone records indicated the engineer had been texting while on duty. (It has since been determined that Robert Sanchez, who was among the dead, received a text message a minute and 20 seconds before the crash and sent one about a minute later -- in other words, about 22 seconds before the crash.)

That was enough to scare me from ever texting while driving again. As for the bigger population, that's another story. According to a study of midsize and large businesses called "Mobile Messaging Market Trends 2008-2011" (PDF), 77% of workers said they send and receive text messages on mobile e-mail devices while driving their cars.

The study points to the pressure people are feeling to be available 24/7. "This will only worsen with the economic downturn as employees take on more responsibility because of budget and headcount reductions," said Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research, which conducted the survey (sponsored by NeverFail, a provider of disaster recovery and data protection software).

Other times respondents said they text:

  • In the bathroom (79%)
  • On commercial flights (41%)
  • During a graduation (37%)
  • During a wedding (18%)
  • During a funeral or memorial service (16%)
  • During romantic moments (11%)

Unfortunately, I don't foresee many changes ahead, especially because the survey found the proportion of workers using company-supplied mobile devices will grow to nearly 40 percent by 2010, from less than 25% now. Hopefully more states will pass legislation that, at least, ban texting while driving.

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