"Texting while driving is a learned behavior, reinforced by seeing others doing it, and although laws prohibit it because it impairs driver safety, texting while driving has become a cultural artifact in the US," said Steven Seiler from Tennessee Technological University.

In the study, the researchers explored the social factors that lead people to text while driving. Using analysis of data from a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center, variables for general mobile talk, driving while talking on a mobile, using the Internet on a mobile and various motivations for texting were examined to determine factors that increases the likelihood of texting while driving.

"Mobile multiplexing" - texting, talking, and using the Internet - while driving presents a variety of distractions,  Seiler pointed out. The study found that more than 27 percent of adults in the United States text while driving, and more than 60 percent were reported talking on their mobiles while driving.

The study appeared in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.


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