West Hartford Psychiatrist Appears in CNN Piece about Distracted Driving

Dr. David Greenfield of West Hartford is featured in a CNN ‘Driving While Distracted’ special that was also filmed in West Hartford.

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By Ronni Newton

If avoiding distracted driving isn’t on the minds of local residents right now, it should be since West Hartford Police have dedicated patrols currently engaged in a high visibility distracted driving enforcement campaign.

While the fear of getting caught and paying a fine can be a deterrent, distracted driving isn’t something that can be solved with a quick fix.

CNN will air a special report on distracted driving, and prominently featured in the video is Dr. David Greenfield, a West Hartford psychologist who is also the founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction in West Hartford.

DWD: Driving While Distracted” will air on CNN at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016.

In his segment, “The science behind why you can’t put down your phone,” Greenfield said that responding to the ding of a text message or other notification is a “compulsion,” and a majority of people can’t help themselves.

A notification on a smartphone affects the brain with a hit of dopamine, Greenfield said. It impacts “the same centers that have to do with eating, with sex and procreation, with drugs and alcohol,”he said.

Greenfield also addresses the question: “Can technology stop distracted driving?

“There are some people that think autonomous vehicles are going to solve” the problem, Greenfield, told CNN. “If you have an autonomous vehicle that doesn’t require you to attend, then you could talk on the phone all you want, do whatever you want, but we’re a little ways away from that,” he said.

To watch the special, click here.

Greenfield, who is also an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, is a renowned expert who has extensively studied and frequently speaks about Internet, computer, and digital media behavior. He is also the author of “Virtual Addiction.”

For more information about Greenfield and the Center for Internet and Technology Addition, click here.

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