Study: 1-in-3 drivers read, text, email

March 15, 2013 at 12:17 AM

ATLANTA, March 15 (UPI) -- About 1-in-3 drivers ages 18-64 say they read, text or email messages when driving, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say.

A study, published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, examined cellphone use while driving and reading, sending text or email messages while driving, among motorists in the United States, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Britain.

CDC researchers analyzed data from the 2011 EuroPNStyles and the U.S. HealthStyles surveys and found 69 percent of U.S. drivers talked on their cellphone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed compared to 21 percent of drivers in Britain.

The study also found that 31 percent of U.S. drivers reported that they had read or sent text messages or emails while driving, compared to 15 percent of drivers in Spain.

"The cellphone can be a fatal distraction for those who use it while they drive," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement. "Driving and dialing or texting don't mix. If you are driving, pull over to a safe place and stop before you use your cellphone."

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