Ford survey says that Europeans don’t believe texting is dangerous during driving

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 16, 2012

Even if 95 percent of those surveyed in the six countries in Europe believed that texting is dangerous during driving because it affected a person's ability, not many drivers are deterred from continuing to engage in risky behaviors. A European survey commissioned by Ford Motor Co. found that most people understand how risky distracted driving is as a result of the use of mobile phones and other electronic equipment in cars.

However, almost half admitted that they read texts on their cell phones while driving. There are presently no universal directives in the European Union on the prevention of distracted driving. While many countries ban the use of cell phones during driving, the fines for not complying with the ban only averaged 60 euros.

Automotive News Europe talked a spokesman for the European Transport Safety Council, an independent Brussels-based body. The spokesman told the publication that every country in the EU has its own rules for distracted driving and they implement those rules their own way.

U.S. Transportation secretary Ray LaHood has prioritized the issue and has released non-binding guidelines for the automakers to modify in-car devices so that they could only be used when a car isn’t moving. There are several lobby groups in Europe that think that national governments have to do more to solve this issue.

A spokeswoman for the RAC, a UK motoring organization, said that it has been on this campaign for at least 2 years. Ford conducted the study on around 5,500 drivers from Germany, Spain, France, Great Britain, Italy and Russia. Of those surveyed, an average of 48 percent of motorists admitted to checking their texts. This is broken down to about 61 percent of motorists in Italy, 55 percent in Russia, 49 percent in France and Germany, 40 percent in Spain and 33 percent in the UK. At least 50% said that a driver's response was 50 percent slower when they were looking at messages on a mobile device.

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