Israeli drivers focus on something other than the road

Recently, U.N. Ambassador Ban Ki-moon urged countries from all over the world to address the growing and deadly epidemic of distracted driving.  It look likes Israel drivers may need to be reminded on the importance of safe driving.

According to a new survey from the Or Yarok Association for Safer driving, 94% of Israeli drivers engage in other activities behind the wheel.  While those aren’t necessarily illegal, they still are a distraction from driving 

The report shows that nearly 40% of drivers perform at least one illegal act while driving, such as talking on a cell phone (70%) or exchanging text messages (15%).  In comparison, a recent American study showed that 75% of cell-owning adults admitted to talking on their phone while driving and 47% of texting adults admitted to having sent or read a text message while driving.

Billboards are also a major distraction.  According to the survey, 80% look at billboards while driving.  Just like a cell phone or texting while driving, billboards take a driver’s attention off the road for a few seconds and increase the risk of car crashes.

The spokesperson for the Or Yarok Association for Safer driving, Shmuel Abuav, said his group’s survey reveals that drivers today are “more aware of the dangers of doing distracting things while driving.”

Source:  Haaretz, July 23, 2010

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