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MONDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of talking on a cellphone while driving ranges from 21 to 69 percent across the United States and seven European countries, according to research published in the March 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.
Noting that driver distraction is an emerging concern relating to road traffic crashes, Rebecca B. Naumann, M.S.P.H., and Ann M. Dellinger, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, used data from 2011 online EuroPNStyles and HealthStyles surveys to assess the prevalence of mobile device use while driving in the United States and seven European countries.
The researchers found that, among drivers ages 18 to 64 years, in the last 30 days, the prevalence of talking at least once on a cellphone while driving varied from 21 percent in the United Kingdom to 69 percent in the United States. During the same period, the prevalence of reading or sending text or e-mail messages at least once varied from 15 percent in Spain to 31 percent in Portugal and the United States.
"Strategies such as legislation combined with high-visibility enforcement and public education campaigns deserve further research to determine their effectiveness in reducing mobile device use while driving," the authors write. "Additionally, the role of emerging vehicle and mobile communication technologies in reducing distracted driving-related crashes should be explored."
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