CDC: 1 in 3 U.S. drivers read or send texts, emails

Updated:

CDC research shows 31 percent of U.S. drivers read or send a text message or an email, and 69 percent admit to talking on the phone.

ROSWELL, Ga. - A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday finds that one in three drivers in the United States use their cellphone while behind the wheel.

The director of the CDC calls it a fatal distraction and said it’s much more common in the U.S. than seven other European countries. Channel 2’s Shae Rozzi hit the road on Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell to check out the problem for herself. There were several drivers talking on their phones, which is legal, but it’s illegal to text and drive.

"I see it all the time, and I'm very concerned about it. I'm concerned that I'm going to be a victim in a head-on collision or an accident," driver Joann Coburn told Rozzi.

CDC research shows 31 percent of U.S. drivers read or send a text message or an email, compared to 15 percent of drivers in Spain. The CDC said 69 percent of U.S. drivers admit to talking on the phone while driving, compared to 21 percent in the United Kingdom.

Marietta resident Travis Hubert told Rozzi his cousin died in a crash while texting his girlfriend.

“The last message that she got (was), 'I love you,'" Hubert said.

He said his cousin left behind two children, and with two children of his own, Hubert doesn’t want to take any chances.

Every day, more than nine people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver, according to the CDC. Its list of distracted driving activities mentions cellphones, texting, eating and navigation systems.

Researchers found parents are crucial in keeping younger drivers from starting bad habits.

Click here for more on the CDC’s research.



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