TextLifeAT&T announced the results of a survey it commissioned with tech addiction expert Dr. David Greenfield that found the ring, beep or buzz of your cell phone triggers compulsive cell phone behavior.

According to the study, twice as many people as self-reported cell phone addiction are showing compulsive phone behaviors – with 74 percent of people admitting to at least glancing at their phones while behind the wheel.

The study, fielded as part of the Texting & Driving … It Can Wait® campaign, was released as AT&T focuses on helping people find ways to resist the urge to text and drive at a potentially deadly moment of temptation:

  • The AT&T DriveMode app for iPhone is now available on the App Store – making it the first free no-texting-while-driving application offered by a major U.S. wireless carrier that works on the iPhone. The app is easy to use. It silences incoming text message alerts, turns on automatically when one drives 15 MPH or more and turns off shortly after one stops. When activated, it automatically responds to incoming SMS and MMS text messages so the sender knows the text recipient is driving. It also allows parents with young drivers to receive a text message if the app is turned off.
  • The It Can Wait campaign is working with celebrities to help drive adoption of a new social shorthand, “#X.” You can use it in social media, text or email to signal to others that you’re pausing the conversation before you drive, and that you’ll get back to them when you arrive safely at your destination.

While over 90 percent say they know texting and driving is dangerous, many rationalize their texting-and-driving behavior—a classic sign of addiction, according to Dr. Greenfield. Nearly three-in-ten said they can easily do several things at once, even while driving. “However, many objective studies show that’s not possible,” says Dr. Greenfield.

According to the research, those who are most likely to text and drive are also the most likely to take steps to stop. And 82 percent of people who take action to stop texting and driving feel good about themselves.

 Since its launch in 2010, the It Can Wait campaign has inspired more than 5 million pledges to never text and drive, and more than 1.8 million downloads of the Android and Blackberry versions of the DriveMode app. But more work needs to be done to help end texting while driving. To learn more about It Can Wait, please visit www.ItCanWait.com.

The AT&T DriveMode app is available for free on the App Store for iPhone or at www.AppStore.com.

Contributor: Kelly Starling, AT&T