A third of Americans still text and drive

By on March 15, 2013, 4:30 PM

Texting while driving is still a major problem in the US despite numerous public service announcements and campaigns advising motorists of the dangers associated with the practice. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three US drivers read or send text or e-mail messages while driving.

The study looked at drivers aged 18 to 64 in the US and seven European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. Unsurprisingly, mobile device use while driving was more common in America than in all of the aforementioned European countries.

The CDC said 69 percent of US drivers talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days prior to completing the survey compared to just 21 percent of drivers from the UK. Furthermore, 31 percent of Americans admitted to sending or reading text or e-mail messages while behind the wheel compared to just 15 percent of respondents in Spain.

Researchers found there was no significant difference between men and women with regards to cell phone interaction while driving. The study showed that people ages 25 to 44 were more likely to talk on the phone while driving than those ages 55 to 64 and drivers between the age of 18 and 34 were more likely to send or receive text or e-mail messages than people between the ages of 45 and 64.

It goes without saying that if you have to use your phone while driving, do everyone a favor and pull off the road before doing so.




User Comments: 33

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2 people like this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I CAN'T WAIT for some fool to run into my car while texting. I will sue them, the phone company and the phone manufacturer every cent they'll ever make. And I don't think it will take long because I see these simpletons every day with their head down looking at their device while cruising along in their cars, totally clueless as to what's going on around them.

Renrew Renrew said:

What a sad commentary on the priorities and the sheer ignorance of todays society. A phone call is worth more than a human life. These Morons have to be stopped before they kill or maim any more innocent bystanders.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

The phone provider and manufacturer are not the problem. And you have insurance for a reason. The most you'll get is repair/replacement of your vehicle and bodily injury... but keep truckin'

psycros psycros said:

What a sad commentary on the priorities and the sheer ignorance of todays society. A phone call is worth more than a human life. These Morons have to be stopped before they kill or maim any more innocent bystanders.

Unlikely to happen since most government officials are among the worst offenders. Of course I suppose they could just exempt themselves any from laws meant to curb text-driving, like they do 90% of the other laws.

BlueDrake said:

What a sad commentary on the priorities and the sheer ignorance of todays society. A phone call is worth more than a human life. These Morons have to be stopped before they kill or maim any more innocent bystanders.

Also what about those, who mindlessly walk into traffic? Sure we can complain about this but we also need to address, the fact that calls / texting in traffic scenarios is a danger to everyone. I'm not sure how it is in the US, but here I've seen countless pedestrians mindlessly ignoring traffic. Which is also another likely cause of accidents, and if you hit them it's likely to be your fault.

There needs to be proper safety in general. I'm not saying texting / etc behind the wheel is any better. If you're not willing to pay attention to surroundings, you're better off not in busy areas in general. You can't simply put one above another, in certain kinds of situations though. Winter comes to mind in icy conditions, among I'm sure many other possibilities.

You're just as liable with an accident, if you have to avoid a mindless pedestrian, as you are those kinds of distracted drivers. Since in both situations you're not in control of everything, so you have to do the thinking for them as well. You can't simply put laws against phone use in public, but you can against those distracted behind a wheel. So there needs to also be education on things, like not actually being an ***** pedestrian as well.

Just my general thought rant honestly, since there's two problems relating to the same devices. One you can create laws for and fine, another that is uncontrollable in general. Both equally as dangerous, in high traffic or bad situations and a nightmare in combination.

2 people like this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I CAN'T WAIT for some fool to run into my car while texting. I will sue them

Looking forward to injury or death to obtain cash via civil litigation.

Let it not be said that Tom isn't doing his bit to maintain the American stereotype

I will sue them, the phone company and the phone manufacturer every cent they'll ever make.

Rubbish. If its an American jury trial, they'll be too busy updating their Twitter feed to take any notice of your case.

And I don't think it will take long because I see these simpletons every day with their head down looking at their device while cruising along in their cars

There's a double entendre in there somewhere

, totally clueless as to what's going on around them.

To be totally fair, I don't think that situation changes a lot even if they weren't staring at their devices.

Between people staring at their devices, and people staring at the people who are staring at their devices, its a wonder anyone makes it to work alive.

3 people like this | ikesmasher said:

Am I the only nerd that hates texting in general?

1 person liked this | Dawn1113 said:

Am I the only nerd that hates texting in general?

I don't exactly hate it , but I do text less than most of my friends. I think my daily average is three messages. I often call rather than text.

There's a double entendre in there somewhere

Clearly, these people have difficulty finding their -- uhhm -- devices, hence the inordinate amount of time spent with their heads bowed in desperate search. Some of these new phones are apparently very small. That's progress for yah!

I read somewhere that nearly a thousand people were killed within the span of a single year (this wasn't too long ago) in road accidents that involved cellphones. That's in the US alone, I think. Stupidity can be mind-boggling, when its consequences are considered in aggregates.

JC713 JC713 said:

This isnt too surprising, too many ignorant people here :eek:.

1 person liked this | tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Those that text while driving, the vehicle is either to my left trying to coming into my lane or they miss the traffic like changes and they wobble in the lane. I find a few forget to turn on the head light.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Automated Cars, bring em' already! Then if you want to drive there are always test tracks, go karts etc...

treetops treetops said:

I tried texting and driving when I first got text messaging and noticed I tended to veer out of my lane.... So yeah don't text and drive. I remember when talking and driving was a big deal... Texting is wayyyyy worse.

Guest said:

People is stupid by themselves, now, texting or talking.........

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

People is stupid by themselves, now, texting or talking.........
Right you are! Especially when they don't know the subject and verb must agree in number.

Between people staring at their devices, and people staring at the people who are staring at their devices, its a wonder anyone makes it to work alive.
I try my best to keep the highways and byways safe for others. This is why I sit at home in front of my computer while downloading porn. Granted, I do play with my device, but I never take my eyes off the screen....

Scshadow said:

I will sue them, the phone company and the phone manufacturer every cent they'll ever make.
In what dream world does the cell phone company and manufacturer have to take responsibility for how ****** drive on the road? Every cent they'll ever make? Haha, I needed a good laugh. But seriously, you shouldn't say something so absurd if you ever want to be taken seriously. I know my 2.5 year old HTC phone came with a sticker over the display saying not to text and drive. With that sticker, I can't imagine any viable legal argument that can say phone manufacturers are liable.

Anyway, people are crazy. I remember hearing that texting while driving impairs you twice as much as driving drunk. Pretty soon it will be safer to travel at 3am with the bar crowd.

1 person liked this | Zoltan Head said:

I know my 2.5 year old HTC phone came with a sticker over the display saying not to text and drive. With that sticker, I can't imagine any viable legal argument that can say phone manufacturers are liable.

Do you know, if you peel the sticker off you can text the same as on a "non-safety" device?!

(I remember reading this tip during my crash the other day).

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Do you know, if you peel the sticker off you can text the same as on a "non-safety" device?!

(I remember reading this tip during my crash the other day).

Just remember, peeling the sticker off, renders the manufacturer not liable for any damages you might cause, and concomitantly voids the warranty.

I've found that peeling the stickers off, and putting them on the upper half of your glasses' lens, helps control sun glare, without having to go through the trouble of pulling down the car's big, heavy, and awkward OEM sun visors.

Now what we need is, for manufacturers to supply two warning stickers, so I don't have to drive with an eye patch over one eye.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I ride my bike to work in Southern California, which is 24 miles round trip. I used to get furious about how many people use their cell phones while driving. I have simply given up getting angry as everyone does it. I just have to accept it now.

Just wait for a bus full of children to die from it before tougher laws and social views on it changes.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I ride my bike to work in Southern California, which is 24 miles round trip. I used to get furious about how many people use their cell phones while driving. I have simply given up getting angry as everyone does it. I just have to accept it now.

Just wait for a bus full of children to die from it before tougher laws and social views on it changes.

You, (by self admission), obviously don't live in the Delaware Valley area of the country. We had a school bus driver fired a couple of weeks back for texting while driving. He was in full view of the cab security camera while doing it.

Hey, nobody said you have to be Einstein to get a job as a bus driver.

Tygerstrike said:

The sad part is that it will take either a serious fatality or tougher Laws to make ppl change. Sometimes its as easy as getting a ticket. Out here in Nevada we have Laws in place about talking/texting while driving. Unfortunatly ppl think they are immune from those Laws. A buddy of mine who happends to be a Stae Trooper put it to me the best way. "How many ppl do you personally have to kill before you will set your phone down?"

Try explaining to someone the importance of having a Bluetooth device in the car while they travel. I have many of my customers who at the time they purchase their phone decline the Bluetooth. We explain there is a Law in effect that demands that if you have a phone/gps/ect in your car you have a hands free device to go with it. All we ever get for our trouble is attitude. We are explaining the imprtance of not talking/texting while driving, but they JUST DONT CARE! That is untill they either get a ticket or kill someone. Then the world is just unfair because they are being held accountable.

PinothyJ said:

I CAN'T WAIT for some fool to run into my car while texting. I will sue them, the phone company and the phone manufacturer every cent they'll ever make. And I don't think it will take long because I see these simpletons every day with their head down looking at their device while cruising along in their cars, totally clueless as to what's going on around them.

Is not illegal to do so there?

If someone whips their phone out whilst driving here they get one hell of a hefty fine and a stack of demerit points...

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Automated Cars, bring em' already! Then if you want to drive there are always test tracks, go karts etc...

That is the true solution to the problem. Cars that drive themselves. Take the driving out of the hands of the distracted driver.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Is not illegal to do so there?

If someone whips their phone out whilst driving here they get one hell of a hefty fine and a stack of demerit points...

If someone goes through a red light here, they get a hefty fine. But it isn't the police that are issuing them, it's the red light cameras. With that said, talking on the phone and texting while driving are illegal here also. But, I picture the ratio of people that do it, and don't get caught, to the people who actually get tickets for it, is likely astronomical. I sit behind distracted drivers all day, waiting for them to shut their yaps and drive, and none of them are using "hands free devices". Plus, I figure the police here may be "distracted" themselves, with their faces buried in their lunches.

To capsulize, tons of people text or use the phone while driving, and ounces of people get caught at it.

I don't know what utopia / police state you live in, but my account is an accurate view of, "life in the big city".

That is the true solution to the problem. Cars that drive themselves. Take the driving out of the hands of the distracted driver.
So you think the expense of automated cars and highways is justified to allow people to kick back and talk or text each other on subjects of no gravity or purpose?

Every time I overhear a cell phone being used, it's usually some inbred fool that is simply unable to shut their mouth, be alone for more than 5 minutes at a time, or trying to get a hold of their drug dealer.

Well, I'm a militant too, and I think they should outlaw cell phones entirely, and give a vasectomy to every male over 16 years of age that can't reasonably pass an IQ test. There's my utopia!

You can build your automated highways and cars with your local real estate taxes. Mine are busy funding a "school system", which is basically a daytime holding pen for the 3rd or 4th generation of social entitlement "parents". I use the term "parents" in its loosest possible terms. "Breeding stock" is closer to the truth.

Guest said:

Is it legal to text / use your phone while driving in America? Here in Australia it's illegal and the police are super vigilant for it.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Is it legal to text / use your phone while driving in America? Here in Australia it's illegal and the police are super vigilant for it.
Most of what's "super" about big city cops in the US, are their salary demands, egos, and arrogance.

1 person liked this | Arris Arris said:

It's illegal in the UK to text/call(without handsfree kit) but I still see one or two every day on my 15 minute commute to work.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Cellphones should be disabled when they are within 3 feet of the steering wheel in a vehicle when it is running and in gear. The only exception should be emergency numbers, they should never be disabled under any conditions.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

People is stupid by themselves, now, texting or talking.........
Right you are! Especially when they don't know the subject and verb must agree in number.

Between people staring at their devices, and people staring at the people who are staring at their devices, its a wonder anyone makes it to work alive.
I try my best to keep the highways and byways safe for others. This is why I sit at home in front of my computer while downloading porn. Granted, I do play with my device, but I never take my eyes off the screen....

What device are you playing with while downloading porn? As far as I can remember you said you never owned a cell phone...

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Text & driving??? I find just swearing & making rude gestures at other drivers takes up 99% of my time behind the wheel nowadays, I wouldn't find the time to send text messages as well.

Zoltan Head said:

What device are you playing with while downloading porn? As far as I can remember you said you never owned a cell phone...

I suspect you don't really want the Captain to answer that....

Zoltan Head said:

Well, I'm a militant too, and I think they should outlaw cell phones entirely, and give a vasectomy to every male over 16 years of age that can't reasonably pass an IQ test. There's my utopia!

Seconded. (y)

Tygerstrike said:

@Capt

To a certain extent you are correct about the police force in the big cities of America. Where you will have a few stellar police officers the rest tend to be lack luster at best. I have personally seen more cops talking on their phones then previously before. Funny thing was I watched a cop who was talking on their phone pull someone over for the same thing!!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Funny thing was I watched a cop who was talking on their phone pull someone over for the same thing!!

It was probably the cop calling the driver to warn them not to answer the phone or he'd pull them over.:p

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