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Texting and Driving: U.S. Number One

Texting and Driving: U.S. Number One

A recent study has shown that Americans drivers are ranked number one! Although usually a ranking at the top is an honor, in this case, quite the opposite is true.

A survey was taken of American and European drivers to see which country's drivers texted while driving. Unfortunately, federal government researchers reported Americans came out on top, with approximately two-thirds of drivers admitting they texted while driving.

The countries surveyed by researchers included Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) used data from 5,000 people surveyed by Porter Novelli, a marketing and public relations firm, for the study.

The survey showed there is a big difference across both the United States and Europe in the number of drivers who admitted they get distracted by cell phones, but U.S. drivers scored the worst.

Approximately 69 percent of American drivers aged 18-64 admitted talking on a cell phone while driving in the past month. In Britain, only 21 percent of drivers admitted to this, while in France 40 percent of adult drivers admitted to driving and talking on a cell phone.

In Europe, most countries have hand-held cell phone bans in place. What was surprising to researchers was the vast variation in European driver percentages across the seven countries in the survey.

Talking on a cell phone even when it is hands free is distracting, but experts agree that texting is not only enormously distracting, but dangerous as well. Experts believe people should not use phones at all when they drive.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center in 2010 reported those drivers distracted by cell phone use killed an estimated 16,000 people from 2001-2007, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement, "Driving and dialing or texting don't mix. If you are driving, pull over to a safe place and stop before you use your cell phone."