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CDC compares cell phone use among drivers in U.S., Europe

March 20, 2013

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Atlanta – Talking on a cell phone while driving may be more prevalent in the United States than some European countries, according to a new report (.pdf file) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2011, 18- to 64-year-olds from the United States, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom were surveyed on whether they used a cell phone while driving in the previous 30 days.

Among the findings, about 69 percent of U.S. respondents said they talked on a cell phone at least once, compared with a European range of about 21 percent (United Kingdom) to 59 percent (Portugal). Researchers also found that about 31 percent of U.S. respondents reported sending or reading a text or email at least once, compared with a European range of about 15 percent (Spain) to 31 percent (Portugal).

To reduce the rates of distracted driving, researchers suggested cell phone bans, awareness campaigns and high-visibility enforcement.

The report was published March 15 in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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