Here are some sobering numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Nearly 70% of Americans ages 18 to 64 report chatting on phones while driving in the past 30 days
- About 30% of Americans ages 18 to 64 report sending a text message while driving
- Since the last CDC report, 10 states have banned hand-held cell phones, and 39 states banned texting while driving… and yet, the rates of cell phone use and texting have RISEN
According to an article in The New York Times:
“The problem is unfortunately not improving over time,” said Ileana Arias, the principal deputy director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “If anything, it seems to be getting worse.”
Dr. Arias said it was unclear why there appears to be so little progress. One possibility is that people are becoming more reliant on and attached to their cellphones and hand-held devices, making them less likely to shut them off or ignore them when they get behind the wheel. The numbers may also reflect a need to create stricter policies that are implemented more widely and vigilantly enforced, like drunken-driving laws, Dr. Arias said.
The study also looked at cell phone use and texting in 6 other countries. In Great Britain, cell phone use while driving is against the law, and the laws are strict. There, only 21% of people report talking on a phone while driving. In fact, cell phone use was below 50% in all but one other country, Portugal, which reported 60% of drivers using a phone while driving.
It takes a single split-second of inattention to cause a wreck and change a life. For more information, visit www.DistractedDriving.gov.
To read the full article in The New York Times, click here: The Distracted American Driver
To read the CDC report, click here: Mobile Device Use While Driving