More people are copping to using smart phones to access the internet while on the road.
A State Farm Insurance survey of 1,000 people over 18-years-old who drive more than 80 hours a week found jumps in all categories of internet usage types. People aren’t just using the technology to coordinate directions or check traffic. People are updating statuses, checking email and Facebook, trends that could be dangerous in the upcoming holiday driving season.
This survey isn’t conducted every year by insurance giant State Farm. The last time the survey was taken was in 2009 before anyone knew what Timeline was or how to Instagram the traffic ahead. Still, at that time the smart phone was a popular choice and many drivers had the technology in the car with them.
For the general results, all usage jumped by at least 4 percent in the drivers surveyed. 21 percent said they access the internet while driving, compared to 13 percent in the previous year’s response. 13 percent are updating their Facebook status or tweeting from the car, which was only 9 percent in 2009. Email and news feed checkers have risen to 15 percent, which is a small increase from the 9 percent of the previous survey.
When broken down into age groups, the 18 to 29-year-olds were the worst offenders. Almost half of them use the internet behind the wheel at 48 percent. Only 29 percent said they did so in 2009. 30 percent update status while driving, compared to 20 percent before. 36 percent check the news feed of their social media networks and 43 percent check their email in the car. That’s compared to 21 and 36 percent respectively in the previous survey.
Map of the United States showing states with texting while driving laws. States in red ban texting while driving for all drivers, while states in yellow do so only for new drivers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s true that average age of drivers distracted by their phones is fairly young. It has dropped from the 2009 survey, but the average numbers grew as well. Regardless of age, many drivers seem to support safety laws that ban texting while driving at 72 percent. However, less than half supported technology that prevents drivers from using their phone at 48 percent. A majority seems to understand the danger of using the phone behind the wheel, but don’t want to give up the privilege of using it anyway.
To further add to the confusion of driver’s attitudes towards technology use while driving, about two thirds said they don’t believe current distracted driving laws are effective. They don’t believe that the laws are enforced well enough. Meanwhile, the trend is that more drivers are distracted by technology while driving.
What do all these statistics mean? It could be that more distracted drivers on the road could correlate to more frequent car accidents on the horizon. If people aren’t paying attention in traffic, the chances of a rear-end collision, careless sideswipe or red light run could easily jump up. Whiplash and concussion could become the most common preventable injury in the country.
If you were injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence at the wheel, then speak to an accident attorney today to determine if you have a valid case. Visit the Accident Attorneys’ Group for more information about personal injury cases and what to do after a car accident.
About Author: The personal injury law offices of Robert Koenig have collected millions of dollars for their clients who were hurt in an accident. With over 20 years of collective experience, the Accident Attorneys’ Group is prepared to handle anything insurance companies or others can throw at them.