Americans have been listening to the “Don’t Drink and Drive” message since the late Seventies. It’s a lesson deeply rooted into our social consciousness. But an equally dangerous practice is emerging behind the wheel: using the web while driving.
In an online survey conducted by State Farm® about one in five people admitted to surfing the Internet while driving. Most of them reported accessing the net when stopped at a stop light or in heavy traffic. They also said they commonly surf the web while driving alone, during the day, or on long drives on the interstate.
Here are the top five reasons drivers opened a web browser while behind the wheel:
1. Finding/reading driving directions
2. Reading email
3. Looking up/referencing specific information of immediate interest
4. Looking at/reading social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
5. Composing/sending email
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each day, more than 16 people are killed and more than 1,300 people are injured in crashes involving distracted driving. The CDC defines distracted driving as driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving
There is a bit of good news: the U.S. Department of Transportation reports the number of young drivers observed visibly manipulating handheld electronic devices across the country dropped from 1 percent to 0.6 percent. More drivers in southern states were seen employing electronic devices than in other regions of the country.
At current count, about 40 percent of the U.S. population owns a smartphone. Unfortunately, smartphone use does not equate to smart driving.
For more information about teen driver safety and tools for new drivers, visit http://teendriving.statefarm.com.
"Webbing While Driving" (2011, April) State Farm Insurnace Learning Center. Retrieved from: https://learningcenter.statefarm.com/safety-2/auto-2/webbing-and-driving/