Americans Drive More Distracted Than Europeans

Americans Drive More Distracted Than Europeans
New research is suggesting that Americans are driving more distracted than our European counterparts (at least the seven countries included in the survey). The findings were just published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
After the CDC analyzed multiple surveys, they found that 69 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 admitted to talking on their phone at least once a month while driving. Thirty-one percent said they texted or emailed at least once a month while behind the wheel.
European countries surveyed included Portugal, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain,
France, Germany and the U.K. The lowest rate of driving while on a cell phone came from the UK at 20.5 percent. As far as texting and driving, 15.1 percent of Spaniards did so.
Portugal is worst overall offender in Europe, with 59.4 percent talking on the phone and 31.3 percent texting.
While a survey that appears to rely on the participants’ honesty may be susceptible to criticism, the results for American drivers matched findings from an earlier research, including a report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that found 7 out of 10 drivers admitted to using a cell phone behind the wheel the previous month.
Is our dependence on instant communication too entrenched in our psyche at this point? While legislative efforts have been spreading across the state, it’s not made a significant difference yet.
“These laws have not yet been shown to result in decreased crash rates,” states the CDC report. “Strategies such as legislation combined with high-visibility enforcement and public education campaigns deserve further research to determine their effectiveness in reducing mobile device use while driving.”New research is suggesting that Americans are driving more distracted than our European counterparts (at least the seven countries included in the survey). The findings were just published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

cell phone while driving After the CDC analyzed multiple surveys, they found that 69 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 admitted to talking on their phone at least once a month while driving. Thirty-one percent said they texted or emailed at least once a month while behind the wheel.

European countries surveyed included Portugal, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain,France, Germany and the U.K. The lowest rate of driving while on a cell phone came from the UK at 20.5 percent. As far as texting and driving, 15.1 percent of Spaniards did so.

Portugal is worst overall offender in Europe, with 59.4 percent talking on the phone and 31.3 percent texting.
While a survey that appears to rely on the participants’ honesty may be susceptible to criticism, the results for American drivers matched findings from an earlier research, including a report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that found 7 out of 10 drivers admitted to using a cell phone behind the wheel the previous month.

Is our dependence on instant communication too entrenched in our psyche at this point? While legislative efforts have been spreading across the state, it’s not made a significant difference yet.

“These laws have not yet been shown to result in decreased crash rates,” states the CDC report. “Strategies such as legislation combined with high-visibility enforcement and public education campaigns deserve further research to determine their effectiveness in reducing mobile device use while driving.”

Don Jacobs
Don Jacobs
Don is licensed to practice law in all Washington and Oregon state and federal courts. He is an active member of the Washington, Oregon and American Trial Lawyers Associations and a frequent lecturer on legal issues for both the Oregon and Washington associations.
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