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WHYY The Pulse: Why We Can’t Stop Using Our Phones While Driving

I talked to Kit Delgado, an emergency physician and professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s interested in what’s called behavioral economics — the factors that go into our flawed decision-making when we use our phones while driving. For instance, there’s present bias, meaning we give more weight to benefits in the present moment. “People tend to respond to immediate gratification, rather than delaying things to prevent crashes in the future,” said Delgado (who was not related to Danielle Delgado). Then there’s overconfidence bias. If you ask a room of 100 drivers how they compare to other drivers, 90 percent will say that they’re safer than other drivers. And there’s recency bias. “You just completed hundreds of trips without getting into a crash. You probably used your phone for some of them,” Delgado said. “So when that phone ping goes off, you’re not even calculating that risk of getting into a crash, because you’ve never experienced it before.” Read more at WHYY The Pulse