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Seven in ten Swedish drivers text at the wheel: poll

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Seven in ten Swedish drivers text at the wheel: poll
Don't text and drive! Photo: Erik Nylander/TT
15:46 CEST+02:00
Seven out of ten drivers in Sweden have at some point or other read or sent a text message while behind the wheel, according to a new survey.

Sweden may be tech-savvy, but how safety-conscious are its drivers?

A new survey, by vehicle safety testing agency Bilprovningen, quizzed 2,000 people about their use of mobile phones while driving and found that 70 percent have at some point texted or read a text behind the wheel.

But that's not all.

Three out of ten drivers said they read, respond to or publish posts on social media.

Twenty percent play smartphone games, for example Pokémon Go, Wordfeud or Candy Crush, while driving.

Four out of ten use their phone to take pictures or shoot videos from behind the wheel, a figure that has gone up from 17 percent of respondents in a previous survey, also by Bilprovningen, in 2013.

The old survey had almost five times as many responses, because it was carried out when formerly-state-owned Bilprovningen was practically alone on the market, which means that the results may not entirely comparable.

Bilprovningen's survey carried out in 2013 suggested that 24 percent of Swedish drivers text or read texts from behind the wheel, which would indicate an increase of a whopping 190 percent in four years.

Another survey, by the Transport Agency, suggests that 37 percent of drivers use their phone to text.

READ ALSO: Texting behind the wheel in Sweden, soon illegal too?

Sweden remains one of very few European countries that still allow mobile phone use while driving, without using hands-free modes.

The current law, which was introduced in 2013, only bans drivers from using their phones in a manner that could be deemed "detrimental" to their driving. Whether someone's driving has been "detrimental" due to their mobile phone usage is down to the police to determine, but that has proven difficult.

READ ALSO: Smombie Swedes hurt in smartphone accidents

The number of annual road deaths in Sweden has remained between 260 and 270 for the past three years. The tally of 2016 and 2013 was the lowest since the Second World War.

A total of 109 people died in traffic during the first six months of 2017, according to the Transport Agency, 12 fewer than the same period last year.

Sweden's worst years were 1965 and 1966 when 1,313 people died in traffic accidents, back when there were around 1.5 million cars on the roads and no smartphones, compared to almost five million cars today.

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