Survey: more drivers are surfing the web behind the wheel

When people in Edwardsville hear about a car accident caused by distracted driving, they might often assume that a driver was talking or texting on a cellphone prior to a collision. A new survey conducted by State Farm finds that another distraction is to blame for many of these dangerous accidents–surfing the web.

In fact, the survey of almost 1,000 drivers found that 48 percent of drivers surf the Web on their smartphones behind the wheel. This is compared to 29 percent in 2009. The insurer has attributed the increase to the higher number of people who now own smartphones.

According to the survey, drivers of a variety of ages have this bad driving habit. Across age groups, checking social media has risen from 9 to 15 percent from 2009 to 2012, while updating social media networks went from 9 to 13 percent. Accessing the Internet rose from 13 to 21 percent.

State Farm suggested that using the Internet while driving is just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than texting while driving.

Some automakers are attempting to combat the practice by creating systems that facilitate the use of social media while driving without the driver actually picking up a phone. A BMW App option reads Twitter and Facebook posts out loud, and can post updates on behalf of the driver as well. Another BMW feature utilizes voice commands to allow drivers to listen and respond to emails while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Some say, however, that these features may encourage rather than restrict distraction.

It is very important that drivers focus on the road and the task of driving rather than give in to any type of distraction. Distracted drivers cause accidents and injuries everyday in the U.S. and every driver should do their part to prevent this from happening.

Source: MSN Autos, “Distracted driving from Web surfing on the rise,” Douglas Newcomb, Nov. 26, 2012

  • Our Illinois law firm helps victims of distracted or negligent drivers seek compensation for their injuries. Compensation may be available for medical and rehabilitative expenses, lost wages due to time spent away from work and pain and suffering, among other damages. More information is posted on our Madison County Car Accident page.