About 69% of Americans talk on their mobile phones while driving, an unsafe distraction that is more common in the U.S. than in Europe, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. health officials found out that within the last 30 days, 69% committed this dangerous act. The CDC said that in seven countries in Europe, fewer drivers were guilty of this act. It ranged from 59% in Portugal to 21% in the UK. In addition, the study determined that 31% of U.S. drivers either read or sent text messages of e-mails while driving. Using the phone when on the road could be fatal.
Every year, about 3.5 million Americans are seriously injured in car crashes. Of this figure, about 24% involve phones. The latest study from the National Safety Council, an injury prevention nonprofit group based in Itasca, Illinois, puts the emphasis on the ongoing dispute over driver distraction. Automakers are proceeding with plans to give drivers more connectivity to mobile and other infotainment devices, mainly with voice activated and touchscreen interfaces. The World Bank said that the U.S. has either the same number of mobile phones (or lower) for every 100 people as the other countries in the survey.
In a statement, CDC Director Tom Frieden said that driving and dialing or texting “don’t mix.” The other countries that participated in the survey include Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. The country that came closest to the U.S. in distracted driving is Portugal. The report stated that when driving, around 59% of Portuguese drivers talked on their mobile phone at least one time within the last 30 days while 31% texted or sent e-mail messages when behind the wheel.