April 20, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Distracted drivers seem to be an endemic problem on U.S. roads. No matter how often public safety officials broadcast the dangers of distracted driving, many drivers persist in dangerous behaviors such as cell phone use and texting while driving. It seems that the problem has not spread outside the country, however. A 2013 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that distracted driving is a greater problem in the U.S. than it is in many European countries.
U.S. drivers often more distracted
Researchers at the CDC surveyed drivers aged 18 to 64 years old in the U.S. and seven European countries about their cell phone and texting habits while driving
. The European countries involved in the survey were France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Almost 69 percent of U.S. drivers surveyed reported that they had talked on a cell phone while driving within the past 30 days. In contrast, only 21 percent of drivers in the United Kingdom reported that they has used a cell phone while driving in the past thirty days - the lowest percentage of drivers in any of the European countries surveyed. The highest percentage of European drivers reporting having used a cell phone while driving in the past 30 days was 59 percent in Portugal.
Researchers suspect that one of the reasons that European drivers use cell phones less while driving is due to generally stricter enforcement of laws prohibiting the practice. Researchers also suggest that the design of European roads may contribute to the fewer number of drivers using cell phones in Europe. European roads often have roundabouts rather than stoplights, leaving drivers with less time idling and fewer opportunities to look at cell phones.
Dangers of distracted driving
The number of distracted drivers on U.S. roads is a cause for concern because distracted driving is a serious safety threat. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,331 people died in motor vehicle accidents
attributable to distracted driving in 2011 and another 387,000 suffered injuries. NHTSA statistics also show that 11 percent of drivers under age 20 involved in fatal auto accidents were distracted at the time of the accident. That age group had the largest number of distraction-related fatalities.
Researchers from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute determined that drivers who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to experience an auto accident than drivers not engaging in such behavior. Texting and driving is not the only dangerous form of distracted driving. Those who think that hands-free devices make talking on cell phones safe are misinformed. Research from Carnegie Mellon shows that talking on a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity focused on driving by 37 percent.
Speak with an attorney
Distracted driving is a threat to the safety of all of those on the road. If you have suffered injuries as a result of an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, talk to a car accident attorney who can help you recover just and proper compensation.
Article provided by Israel & Gerity, PLLC
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