Web Surfing While Driving Becomes Dangerous Trend, Study Says


  • Web Surfing

    Web Surfing

    "Webbing" is the latest concern when it comes to distracted driving. | November 21, 2012

Just the Facts:
  • Surfing the Internet while driving is the latest trend in distracted driving, according to a new study by insurer State Farm.
  • Accessing the Internet while on a cell phone while driving increased from 29 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2012, among drivers ages 18-29.
  • Checking e-mail while driving rose from 32 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2012, the study said.

BLOOMINGTON, Illinois — Surfing the Internet while driving is the latest trend in distracted driving, according to a new study by insurer State Farm.

Accessing the Internet while on a cell phone while driving increased from 29 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2012, among drivers ages 18-29.

Checking e-mail while driving rose from 32 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2012, the study said. Reading social media networks while driving increased from 21 percent in 2009 to 36 percent in 2012, among those ages 18-29.

State Farm surveyed nearly 1,000 motorists in July 2012. It also noted that four years of data "show a significant increase in the use of mobile Web services while driving."

State Farm added a new word to the distracted-driving dictionary: "Webbing."

"Though texting while driving remains a concern on the nation's highways, people are also webbing while driving with increasing frequency," State Farm said in a statement. "These behaviors may pose equal or greater concerns in the effort to reduce distracted driving."

The data show that motorists of all ages are using the mobile Web while driving.

"The mobile Internet is generating another set of distractions for drivers to avoid," said Chris Mullen, State Farm director of technology research, in a statement. "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."

Edmunds says: The growing popularity of smartphones is posing a real problem behind the wheel.

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