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European Drivers Less Likely to Drive Distractedly

Posted on in Car Accidents

car accidents, CDC, Chicago auto accident lawyer, Chicago car accident attorney, distracted driving, drive distractedly, driver negligence, motor vehicle accidentsAs cell phone use has become ubiquitous while driving, so has distracted driving. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every day nearly 1,100 people are injured and more than nine people are killed in motor vehicle accidents that involved a distracted driver.

There are three classifications of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distraction involves taking one’s eyes physically of the road, such as looking at a phone. Manual refers to taking one’s hands off the wheel, like searching a car for a phone. Finally, cognitive refers to taking one’s mind off the act of driving. And while many states have enacted hands-free driving laws that require the use of Bluetooth or similar technology to talk on the phone while driving, many critics of these laws argue that even such hands-free devices fail to resolve cognitive distractions behind the wheel.

It is not just phone use that constitutes distracted driving. Even using devices specifically meant for vehicles, such as navigation systems, can result in distracted driving. Smartphones, however, are the main culprit for such behavior. Noted by the CDC, 69 percent of U.S. drivers aged 18–64 “reported that they had talked on their cell phone” while operating a car at least once in the month before the survey was conducted. Yet not all smartphone users are prone to such risky behavior.

A 2011 CDC study analyzed smartphone use while driving in both the U.S. and seven European countries. As opposed to 69 percent in the U.S., this percentage in Europe ranged from 21 percent in the U.K. to nearly 60 percent in Portugal.

Distracted driving will not be curbed solely by laws that make it illegal to use cellphones or other distracting devices behind the wheel—it is a change that is the responsibility of individual drivers. If you or someone you know has been injured in an Illinois motor vehicle accident as the result of another's choice to drive distractedly, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a Chicago car accident attorney at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today.
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