A new poll from MMR reveals that 45 percent of drivers in Iceland aged 18-29 send or read text messages while driving, but research has suggested a strong correlation between cell phone use and traffic accidents. A 2013 study done by the American Safety Council found that text messages and cell phone calls occurred in 26 percent of car accidents in the US.
The MMR poll shows that 79 percent of Icelanders have used a cell phone at the wheel in the past 12 months. On a more positive note, the number of those who use a cell phone without a hands-free device has gone down from 71 percent in 2010 to 56 percent this year. At the same time, the use of hands-free cell phone devices has gone up from 24 percent in 2014 to 39 percent this year.
No less than 23 percent of respondents confessed they have used the cell phone for reading or writing email, SMS or other messages in the past 12 months. In this category, the rate of use varied greatly between age groups: it was 45 percent among drivers aged 18-29, 28 percent among those aged 30-49, 4 percent for those aged 50-67, and only 1 percent for drivers older than 68.
And that is not all, for 12 percent of drivers have used the cell phone to take a photo while driving, twelve percent have accessed the internet (such as news websites or social media), and 2 percent have used the cell phone at the wheel for playing computer games.
The poll was conducted November 7-14. The number of respondents was 904, all 18 and older.