Every day in this country, more than nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured in auto accidents that involve a distracted driver. Not surprisingly, a primary source of distraction is texting or talking on the phone. Distracted Drivers

Indeed, Americans take big risks when it comes to texting and driving, with more than two-thirds admitting to texting while at the wheel, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports. US Ranks Number One for Texting and Driving

A reent survey of drivers across the United States and Europe shows big differences in the numbers who admit they get distracted at the phone, but the U.S. scored the worst.

A whopping 69 percent of Americans aged 18 to 64 admitted to talking on a cell phone while driving at least once in the past 30 days – compared to 21 percent of British drivers, who were the least likely to text and drive, and 40 percent of adults in France.

And 31 percent of U.S. drivers admitted they had texted at the wheel, compared to 15 percent in Spain.

Experts agree that talking or texting on a cell phone is hugely distracting. Even hands-free use can be a major distraction and most health experts say people shouldn’t use phones at all while driving.

CDC Director Tom Frieden says in a statement that using a cell phone while driving can be a “fatal distraction.” Fatal Statistics

The problem is on the rise. In 2011, 3,331 crashes involved a distracted driver, while in 2010 there were 3,267 such crashes. In June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in this country, up 50 percent from June 2009. Texting While Driving Statistics

“Answering a call or reading a text is never worth a loss of life,” says Linda C. Degutis, director of National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC.

CDC is committed to saving lives and protecting people from injury and violence. For more information about texting and driving, please visit www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/Distracted_Driving

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