According to a survey conducted by State Farm an astounding 48 percent of young motorists with ages ranging from 18 to 29 use mobile phone based internet while driving. The State Farm group refers to accessing the internet while driving as “webbing,” which is a growing safety concern.
Webbing and texting can be quite dangerous. Earlier this year, as reported by The Inquisitr, a young driver sent this text message moments before his truck plummeted off a cliff, nearly killing him: “I need to quit texting, because I could die in a car accident.”
This has State Farm concerned about how newer smartphones allow internet access anywhere.
“The mobile internet is generating another set of distractions for drivers to avoid,” said Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State Farm. “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.”
When State Farm asked for opinions on ways to reduce distracted driving, “72 percent of drivers surveyed strongly agree with laws or regulations prohibiting texting or emailing behind the wheel.”
However, two-thirds of those surveyed also saw the laws as ineffective. Technology that would prevent texting or talking on a cell phone while driving was also unpopular, with only 45 percent supporting those ideas.
“State Farm continues to support a multi-pronged approach to encouraging more engaged driving,” Mullen said. “Regulation, enforcement, education and technology all have a role to play in making our roads safer for all who share them.”
For drivers 18-29:
• Accessing the internet while on a cell phone while driving increased from 29 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2012.
• Reading social media networks while driving increased from 21 percent in 2009 to 36 percent in 2012.
• Updating social networks while driving increased from 20 percent in 2009 to 30 percent in 2011.
• Checking email while driving rose from 32 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2012.
For all drivers, the data showed:
• Smart phone ownership is on the rise, and people who report webbing while driving goes down with age.
• Accessing the internet while on a cell phone increased from 13 percent in 2009 to 21 percent in 2012.
• Reading social media networks while driving increased from 9 percent in 2009 to 15 percent in 2012.
• Updating social networks while driving increased from 9 percent in 2009 to 13 percent in 2012.
I used to work at a job where mobile access to the internet, or webbing, was unavoidable on the road. What do you thinking about driving and using your smartphone at the same time?