Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Forget texting - web surfing is newest distracted driving hazard

They're called "smart" phones, but it seems as though their owners use them in some pretty dumb ways. By now, there is little doubt that distracted driving is dangerous and increases the danger of getting into a car accident. While a great many things can be distracting to a driver, the cellphone seems to be the most common one.

First, it was talking on cellphones while driving. Next, it was texting while driving. And according to a recent nationwide survey, the latest and perhaps most dangerous distracted driving behavior now becoming popular is "webbing."

Believe it or not, an increasing number of motorists are actually surfing the web on their mobile devices while driving. This behavior isn't necessarily new. Some drivers could have been doing this since the smart phone was first invented. However, the practice is becoming much more common.

State Farm Insurance recently polled 1,000 drivers between the ages of 18 and 29. The results reveal that among this age group, 48 percent admit to webbing while driving. Since this same survey was conducted in 2009, webbing has increased by 19 percent.

Just what important tasks cannot wait until the car is in park? Over the last three years, the following activities have increased:

  • Checking email: rose from 32 percent to 43 percent
  • Checking social media: rose from 9 percent to 15 percent
  • Updating social media: rose from 9 percent to 13 percent

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

It should be common sense that if texting while driving is dangerous, a lengthier and more complex task such as web surfing would be even more likely to cause an accident. Sadly, many drivers don't seem to be getting the message.

Individuals who have been injured or killed by the negligence of a distracted driver deserve to hold that driver accountable. A qualified personal injury attorney can help victims and their families receive just and appropriate compensation.

Source: MSN Autos, "Distracted driving due to Web surfing is on the rise," Douglas Newcomb, Nov. 26, 2012

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