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July 19, 2012

Road Rage and Texting While Driving Among Commuters’ Perils

Filed under: General HR Buzz9:59 am

When it comes to the subject of traffic, I’ll admit Wichita has nothing on larger cities.  Friends and co-workers who have visited always have a good laugh when they overhear others complaining about the “rush hour” traffic.  Although I’ve always felt Wichita was big enough for me, I know I’m no expert on the long commute.

However, I do have three daughters (ages 10, 7, and 2) and my husband goes to work earlier than I do in the morning.  That means my mornings are full of preparations of all kinds.  In spite of the inevitable surprises that come up occasionally, my girls have become self-sufficient and are generally flexible.

Most mornings, I arrive to work relaxed and ready to get started.  It’s rare that I have ever experienced road rage.  In terms of demographics among the groups I’m in, I fall into the minority.  Among women, 61% admitted to feeling road rage, compared to 56% of men.  Among different age groups, those 25-34 were the most likely to feel road rage (68%); while workers 55 and older were the least likely (55%).  Careerbuilder’s latest survey release was conducted among almost 4,000 U.S. full-time workers and revealed that many commuters have more than traffic to worry about on their way to work.

It comes as no surprise that commuters’ other peril on the road takes the form of mobile devices, or rather, the people who use them to text while driving.  Among survey respondents, 30% admitted to texting while they were driving.  Many states have enacted laws that ban texting while driving, making it a primary offense to do so.

Here are a couple of other startling facts about distracted driving from Distraction.gov:

  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (VTTI)
  • In the month of June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009.(CTIA)
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