According to the results of a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American drivers are more likely to talk, text or email on a cellular phone while behind the wheel than motorists in several Western European countries including Portugal and the United Kingdom.
Survey respondents in the U.S. aged 18 to 64 reported talking on their phones within the previous month at a rate of 69 percent, higher than the rate reported by drivers from any other European country, where rates ranged from 59 percent in Portugal to 21 percent in the U.K.
Nearly one in three American drivers surveyed reported reading or sending a text message or email from a portable device while driving, about the same rate that Portuguese drivers reported, but more than twice the 15 percent rate reported by Spanish motorists. Younger drivers, on average, were most likely to report texting or talking on a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle.
Distracted driving is a common factor in thousands of fatal and injury accidents each year, and driving safety advocates, lawmakers, police officers, and community leaders continue to make efforts to discourage drivers from taking their focus off the road ahead of them. To date, 33 states and Washington, D.C., have all passed traffic laws restricting or banning cellphone use while behind the wheel.