America is No. 1 again, but this time it’s not for something we should brag about. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving is a bigger problem in America compared to Europe.
The CDC surveyed drivers here and in seven European countries about the use of their cellphone and their texting habits. Nearly 69 percent of American drivers said that they had talked on a cellphone while driving within the previous 30 days. Those same drivers also reported reading or sending a text message or email while behind the wheel. In contrast, the share of European drivers who admitted to similar behavior ranged from 21 percent in the United Kingdom to 59 percent in Portugal.
The study polled drivers ages 18 to 64 in the United States, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. According to reports, the mobile device markets in those countries are similarly saturated, which has researchers perplexed as to why the use of mobile devices while driving is more common in the United States. Likewise, the distracted driving laws in all seven of those European countries closely mirror the laws of most American states.
Currently, 39 states and the District of Columbia have banned texting behind the wheel, while 10 states have banned handheld cellphone use for all drivers. In Florida, our lawmakers are considering several measures that would prohibit texting behind the wheel.
In the meantime, the CDC offers several pieces of to keep yourself and others safe on the road:
Steps for all drivers to follow:
- Model safe behavior behind the wheel. Never text and drive.
- Always stay focused and alert when driving.
- Say something if the driver in your vehicle is distracted.
- Make a commitment to driving free of distractions.
- Urge your loved ones to designate their cars a “no phone” zone when behind the wheel.
- Get involved in promoting safe driving in your community. Spread the word!
Steps for parents of teen drivers to remember:
- Know and obey the driving laws in your state.
- Discuss what it means to be a safe driver with your teen and set ground rules for when they are behind the wheel.
- Make a pledge as a family, and commit to all driving free of distractions.
- Be a good example for your teen by putting your cellphone away every time you are behind the wheel.
A Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
If a distracted driver in Florida has injured you or someone you love, you may need an experienced Florida accident and injury attorney. Call us today at 855-600-1896 or fill out our convenient online contact form for a free consultation.
The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, concentrates on helping accident victims in Stuart, Jupiter, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Fort Pierce, Palm Beach and Vero Beach.