Texting and driving is becoming a national problem


It's one of the most dangerous things you can do is text while driving. Here's the problem, a third of U.S. drivers do it frequently.

Mom can't always be in the backseat reminding teenagers to keep their eyes on the road, and their hands off the cell phone.

It turns out, adult drivers are also easily distracted. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shows 1 in 3 drivers texts while driving, and a majority talk on their cell phones.

"Not only is the problem severe, it's not going away and in fact if anything, it's becoming a little bit worse over time," says Dr. Ileana Arias the Principal Deputy Director at the CDC.

Meanwhile, it appears those who drive on the left are doing more of the right thing.

The CDC report found just 21 percent of drivers in the U.K. talk on their cell phones while on the road, compared to 69 percent of U.S. drivers. Texting while driving is also significantly lower in Europe.

It's unclear whether the reasons for the differences lie in policies or culture or both. Car makers worldwide now offer hands-free telephone systems like Bluetooth.

"Others systems go a little further enabling the driver to block incoming calls or provide automated responses to incoming calls and incoming texts," says Carroll Lachnit a Consumer Advice Editor at Edmunds.com.

Even when hands and eyes are technically where they're supposed to be, the mind can easily drift elsewhere when driving while talking on a cell phone.

"We all kid ourselves into thinking we're incredibly good multitaskers, and the data essentially suggest that multitasking is not as effective as people think that it is," says Dr. Arias.

Experts say the most effective way to stay safe while driving is to declare the car a no phone zone.


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