Results from a recent study done by the insurer State Farm show a disturbing rise in the number of Americans surfing the Internet while driving.
The study ran for four years and surveyed almost 4,000 drivers age 18 and older. The study found a staggering 19% increase in smartphone use while driving among drivers between the ages of 18 and 29. Smartphone use in this age group jumped from 29% in 2009 to 48% in 2012.
Social media sites are the primary culprit, according to the data. 36% of the age group surveyed above checked their social media profiles in 2012, compared with 21% in 2009.
In addition, State Farm’s study found that surfing the Internet while driving is less frequent among older drivers. However, this trend could change very soon. Older age groups also experienced an increase in “Webbing,” as the study calls smartphone use while driving. 21% of older drivers engaged in “Webbing” in 2012, up from 13% in 2009. Accessing social media sites increased for this age group, as well, with 15% logging into their favorite sites. This was a 6% increase from 2009.
Chris Mullen, director of technology research at State Farm, highlighted the importance of reducing all distractions while driving.
“While the safety community is appropriately working to reduce texting while driving, we must also be concerned about the growing use of multiple mobile Web services while driving.”
This study demonstrates that, while the traffic safety community has been working to reduce texting while driving (with many states, including Alabama, banning it), more needs to be done to reduce distracted driving as a whole.
Distracted driving involves any behavior that distracts you from the road, including texting, using a cell phone or smartphone, eating, drinking beverages, talking with passengers, reading maps, and even adjusting your radio. All of these behaviors greatly increase the risk of a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers who use cell phones or smartphones are four times more likely to have a car accident that causes injury.
If you were injured in an accident with a distracted driver who was at fault, contact a Huntsville car accident attorney at Martinson & Beason, P.C. to learn your options.
Source: “Study: More people surfing Web while driving” by Jennifer Geiger, published at USAToday.com.