It is well known that if you are caught texting or speaking on your phone whilst driving in the UK you will receive a fine or could even face criminal prosecution if you are a repeat offender. Furthermore, if you are convicted of using your phone whilst driving your motor insurance quotes will increase, or you could even have your driving licence revoked. A large amount of motor accidents in the UK are caused by drivers not paying attention to the road because they are using their phones, and a recent study has even suggested that using your phone whilst behind the wheel is even more dangerous than drink driving.
In order to gain more information about drivers’ phone use habits whilst on the road, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention carried out a survey across a range of countries and found that Americans are more likely to use their phone when behind the wheel compared to other countries. The online survey gathered information on drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 in the US, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK in 2011, and found some shocking results.
According to the survey results, nearly 69 per cent of the Americans who took part admitted that they had talked on their mobile whilst driving in the past thirty days. In comparison only 21 per cent of UK drivers said that they had used their phones, yet researchers cannot explain why there is such a difference between the two countries. The study’s author, CDC epidemiologist Rebecca Naumann, said: “We can’t really say why a greater percentage of drivers in the U.S. appear to be engaging in these behaviours. We really don’t know. We certainly know it’s an area that deserves more research.”
The study also found that drivers in Portugal are also more likely to use their phones whilst driving, with 31 per cent admitting to texting when behind the wheel. Spain had the lowest amount of drivers who used their phones with only fifteen per cent, but as mobile phone markets are generally the same in each country researchers are not sure what is causing some to take more risks than others. Deputy executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, Jonathan Adkins said: “To me this says we still have a huge distracted driving problem. It’s a cultural problem, and we haven’t convinced the country yet that this is a serious issue.”