Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys know that almost 70 percent of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 64 admit to talking on their cell phone when driving.
It is this behavior that has helped make distracted driving a top cause of auto accidents in America.
Now, NBC News reports that a recent study shows Americans may be largely alone in their decision to take the dangerous risk of texting behind the wheel. The worldwide study took a look at behaviors in the U.S, Belgium, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands, among other places, and found that the United States was number one regarding the number of people talking or texting and driving.
Data Shows US Stands Out Among the Crowd
According to the research:
- Approximately 69 percent of adults in the U.S. between the ages of 18-64 said they had talked on a cell phone in the car one or more times in the 30 days before the survey.
- Only 21 percent of people from Britain reported cell phone use in the past 30 days and only 40 percent of adults in France had used the phone when driving over the prior month.
- In the U.S., 31 percent of drivers said that they had texted while they were driving. This 31 percent is almost twice the 15 percent of drivers who live in Spain who said they had texted while driving at least once in the past month.
The responses from people in the U.S. and the high number of people talking and texting may be partially explained by the different laws in the states versus in Europe. In the United States, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association reports that there are only 10 states that completely ban the use of handheld devices by drivers. The U.S. also doesn’t have uniform laws when it comes to texting and driving, with only 39 states imposing a complete ban on texting for drivers of all ages. Other states have various limitations preventing younger drivers from texting or talking, while some have no widespread statewide bans at all.
In Europe, on the other hand, almost all countries have a ban on the use of handheld devices. This widespread ban likely accounts for why drivers in these countries don’t talk or text in as great of numbers as people in the United States. However, researchers cannot explain why there are such big differences among the different countries in Europe since they all have similar rules.
A Dubious Honor
Unfortunately, the honor of being the country with the most cell-phone using drivers is not a good thing. Cell phone use is very dangerous and the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that more than 3,000 drivers were killed in this country in 2010 in crashes related to distracted driving.
Young drivers tend to be at the greatest risk, with teens texting around 25 percent as often as their parents think they are and with 11 percent of all fatal crashes involving a driver age 20 and under involving distracted driving.
Sadly, most people in America know that texting and driving or talking and driving is dangerous and yet they do it anyway. Tougher enforcement of laws and more laws throughout the U.S. could potentially help to stop this dangerous practice, could bring the country down from its number one slot and could save lives.
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