Is Twitter Causing More Accidents?

by Jason Falls |
This driver is using two phones at once
Image via Wikipedia

I don’t normally fall for press releases unless they have some new data or information in them that’s interesting. Nationwide Insurance and Harris Interactive conducted a survey recently, though, that stood out in the inbox. It seems 80% of Americans say they would support legislation restricting cell phone use while driving. That doesn’t surprise me.

What surprises me is that cell phones have been around a long time. People have been driving poorly while using them for a long time. Why now?

The salient question is, has Twitter caused an increase in texting and phone use while driving that suddenly has phone use in cars taboo?

Laugh if you will, but text messaging has been around a while, too. And the information I received from Nationwide was heavy on the texting stats. Eighty percent favor banning texting while driving, 66% favor a ban on cell phone calls and more than 50% say they would favor a ban on cell use altogether. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) announced this week it has enacted a new policy encouraging every state to ban texting behind the wheel for all drivers. Nationwide took a stance, but just earlier this summer, to support the concept of a national ban on texting while driving.

The study also showed that more than half of respondents say they see more drivers using cell phones than they did 12 months ago. Does Twitter have something to do with that? Is the iPhone to blame?

While my questions are light and somewhat rhetorical, what do you think?

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About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).