Americans are becoming increasingly addicted to their mobile devices, causing many to use them in dangerous situations, a new study says. The number of employees using mobile devices is rising: 40% of workers will be using company-supplied mobile devices in 2010. “The prevalence of mobile device usage has created an unprecedented need for e-mail reliability because unexpected downtime has major business implications.”  This, in turn, causes e-mail addiction.

Workers are under “constant pressure” to be always available. The study by Neverfail, an Austin, Texas, based global software company, finds that “worry over being available during non-work hours has led employees to e-mail addiction, causing them to take unnecessary risks with their health, their relationships, and even the welfare of others.”

Forty one percent have used a mobile e-mail device while skiing, horseback riding, or riding a bike. 79% have used their mobile device in the bathroom, 77% have done so while driving, 18% during a wedding, 16% have done so during a funeral or memorial service, 11% during a romantic moment

Australia’s National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NMRA) found that “when text messaging, drivers' ability to maintain lateral position and to detect and respond appropriately to traffic signs is negatively affected. In addition, when text messaging, drivers spent up to 400 per cent more time with their eyes off the road than they did when not text messaging.”

In August, the American College of Emergency Medicine issued a warning about texting, saying emergency rooms are seeing patients “who are arriving in emergency departments with serious and sometimes fatal injuries because they were not paying attention while texting.”

By Mark Alvarez