Friday, October 2, 2009

Texting and Driving: Surveys and PR

The hot topic of late has been distracted driving, a catch-all phrase that aims mostly at driving while texting.  Like smoking, people know it's bad but do it anyway.

Now we're starting to see surveys asking people about their attitudes and behaviors.  And bad press releases.

Here one example by AAA.  Someone needs to tell the PR people to not write a release in a word processor and then paste into the site without previewing it and produce all these weird characters.  I'm sure our Grady PR kids, the collegiate best, know not to do this, or at least to see the mistake and fix it before it goes live.

There's a good NYTimes story here on their survey results, which found overwhelming support for a ban on texting while driving.  The story also mentions a similar survey by the AAA. You can find the pdf of it here, which is one of the few reports like this I've seen that uses logistic regression.  My inner-PhDweeb is satisfied.

This is going to turn out to be one of those feel-good pieces of state and federal legislation.  Will it actually stop texting?  There is some support for fewer cases of texting when a state law goes into effect, so maybe it can be both feel-good and good.

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