US drivers admit tweeting and taking selfies while driving

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Texting, tweeting and taking selfies: what used to be reserved to the safety and comfort of your sofa has made the move to the driving seat.
A survey commissioned by American phone network AT&T found that a shockingly high number of US motorists are using their mobile phones for all manner of activities while driving, and some of them even believe they can do it 'safely'.

The poll surveyed 2,000 Americans aged between 16 and 65 who drive at least once a day. It found that texting is the most popular activity behind the wheel, with 60 per cent of participants admitting to it. 33 per cent of drivers said that they would check emails whilst in control of a vehicle, while a worrying 28 per cent surf the web. Photo sharing site Instagram commands the attention of 14 per cent of drivers, while a reckless 10 per cent even admitted they would video chat at the wheel.

The survey also showed that some drivers claim to be able to multitask proficiently enough for it to become a regular thing - 30 per cent of people who admit to checking Twitter while driving claim to do so 'all the time'.

One of the more shocking statistics discovered is that more than a quarter of people who take 'driving selfies' (Google it) believe they can do so safely and that it doesn't pose a risk to their driving or attention to the road. Many of these mobile-using drivers cite addiction to social media as the reason they can't put their phone down.

Marketing consultant Peter Shankman explains the science behind the addiction: "When you receive a text or when you receive a light or the ding of a tweet, your body actually releases dopamine, the same as if you are eating chocolate or having sex or doing cocaine," the Guardian reports.

We suggest you don't try either of the latter two at the wheel...

Have you ever used your smartphone while driving? Have your say in the comments section below.

Author: Laura Thomson
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