Sometimes it’s not always good to be first – a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more Americans compared to European drivers are inclined when behind the wheel to use their cell phones for texting, emailing, and making calls. The study looked at cell phone use among drivers ages 18-64 in the United States and seven European countries. The results were somewhat discouraging – despite new laws, public service ads, and expanded education efforts, the Americans interviewed were much more likely to have talked on a cell phone while driving. And a substantially larger number of U.S. respondents indicated they’d read emails or sent texts, all while operating a motor vehicle.
The CDC report didn’t cite one particular reason for the increased practices in the U.S. It’s possible our more hectic lifestyles are the driving force behind our unwillingness to put down the phone – even when we know we’re putting ourselves at risk of a serious accident. We’re always on the go and our phones facilitate this mindset, despite the detriment to our safety and our health.
So how can you change this trend?
Keep your phone handy for an emergency but turn it screen-side down to help avoid the temptation to look at it.
In some areas, emailing or texting even when stopped at a light is prohibited. Know your local laws and be sure to practice what you teach your teen drivers.
Get out of harm’s way and just get where you’re going to make that call, send a text or read your email. The life you save could be your own.
For more information about the study go to cdc.gov/dsdistracteddriving/