Four out of 5 teenagers in the US have used their cell phones to send or receive text messages while driving despite the majority recognising that the activity is dangerous, a new study has found.
Male drivers are more likely to engage in texting while driving but consider themselves more proficient drivers than others and so less likely to endanger themselves or others while doing so, researchers found.
The study by Garold Lantz and Sandra Loeb of the McGowan School of Business, at King's College, in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, included college student drivers.
Analysis indicated 'texting impulsiveness' is positively associated with people who text frequently and those who text while driving.
Earlier studies have suggested that texting while driving is at par with driving while intoxicated.
Some research suggested that texting slows driver reaction times more than being drunk.
Other studies reinforce the myth of multitasking and show that very few (2.5 per cent) people can competently undertake two or more tasks at once, researchers said.
Moreover, our brains allow us to focus completely only on a single task at any given time, so those people demonstrated as multitaskers are simply better at switching seamlessly between two activities.
Texting while driving is already banned in some countries, including the UK for this reason.
"There seems to be a mentality that use of electronic devices is dangerous for everyone but 'me'," the team behind the new research said.
"If further research conclusively demonstrates that texting while driving is as dangerous as driving drunk this study suggests that a promotional campaign should be undertaken to assure that this point is clearly understood," the team suggested.
The study was published in the International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management.