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Anyone surprised? Americans top list as most distracted drivers

distracted drivers

A new study finds that Americans are much more likely to use a cell phone and text when driving than their European counterparts. The crash statistics are especially grim.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), most U.S. drivers reported talking on their cell phone when driving and about one in three read or sent text or email message when behind the wheel.   

The CDC study examined two specific types of self-reported distracted driving behaviors including cell phone use while driving and reading or sending text or e-mail messages while driving, among drivers aged 18-64 years in the U.S. and in seven European countries  − Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

CDC researchers found that 69 percent of U.S. drivers talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed compared to 21 percent of drivers from the UK.

The study also found that 31 percent of drivers in the U.S. reported that they had read or sent text messages or emails while driving, compared  to 15 percent of drivers in Spain.

Of those surveyed, a higher percentage of men and women 25-44 years-old reported talking on a cell phone while driving than those ages 55–64; and a higher percentage of 18-34 year-old men and women reported reading or sending text or e-mail messages while driving than those ages 45-64.

In the U.S., of the 3.5 million people who suffer serious injuries in traffic crashes each year, an estimated 24 percent of those accidents involve mobile telephone use, according to the National Safety Council.