We should all know by now that checking your phone while hitting the road can have disastrous effects but why do some continue this potential devastating habit? The Center for Internet and Technology studies discovered that receiving a text message lights up the same area of the brain stimulated by highly addictive drugs. When drivers hear their cell phone ding, our brain feels compelled to check it. A notification on your phone releases a brain chemical called dopamine into the body’s system. This affects the reward part of the brain. As the dopamine is released, it also shuts down the part of the brain that has to do with judgment and reasoning.
However, this is no excuse for continuing to check your phone while driving. When a person is behind the wheel their most important job is to focus on the task of driving. The only line of defense against distracted driving is the choices each driver makes behind the wheel. If you know someone is driving, don’t tempt them by calling or texting them. If you’re driving, don’t respond to calls or text messages until you have pulled over to a safe location.