Study: More People Are Surfing the Web While Driving

Webbing-while-driving
Motorists can add a new term to the distracted-driving dictionary: webbing. Smartphone ownership is on the rise, and so too is surfing the internet while driving, according to State Farm.

During a four-year study, the insurer polled nearly 4,000 drivers older than 18, and the data shows an increase in motorists using the web while driving. Among drivers ages 18 to 29, surfing the web on a smartphone while behind the wheel increased from 29% in 2009 to 48% in 2012. Social media sites are one of the biggest distractions. Drivers in this demographic who logged in to social media sites while behind the wheel increased from 21% in 2009 to 36% in 2012, the study found.

Although the study shows that webbing goes down with age, the dangerous trend is becoming more popular among older drivers, too. In other age groups, accessing the internet while driving increased from 13% in 2009 to 21% in 2012, and social media networking went up from 9% in 2009 to 15% in 2012.

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

Cars.com knows firsthand how prevalent texting and webbing while driving is. Check out our undercover video below to see motorists in Chicago caught in the act.

Related
Feds Propose Distracted-Driving Guidelines to Automakers
What to Do If You See a Distracted Driver
Don't Drive While "Intexticated"

By Jennifer Geiger | November 20, 2012 | Comments (8)

Comments 

This has really become a big problem for everyone. My sister got in a pretty bad wreck and when it came down to it, she revealed to us all she was texting on her phone. She's a younger driver so we tried to give her some slack, but she knew it was dangerous.

A device should be created that automatically turns off the phone when the person enters the car and starts the engine. An override could be made for emergency personnel.

Mr. Lucas Brice

If we handed out the death penalty to anyone who caused an accident while texting or surfing the web, and life in prison for those who are caught but haven't yet caused an accident, dangerous, stupid people would be off the roads and the rest of us would be a lot safer.

Ivan

I was driving and felt my phone buzz just recently. I barely resisted taking it out and checking. It's a slippery slope from there. I am thinking of adding an NFC tag into my car which automatically mutes my phone.

Also, I think the people who are "webbing" are just a subset of the texters. And it won't stop.

Lucas Brice - this is probably the only site where you can suggest that and not get annihilated by the responses.

Put the phone away. Save a life and install a Text Blocker. Available in Canada at www.stoptexting.ca

Lance

While I agree there should be harsh penalties for texting or surfing, what should be the penalty for a crash caused by spilling coffee or fiddling with the radio. Do we put them in jail for life or would it be the death penalty?

This is a very interesting read, as it really highlights the dangers that cell phones have created- especially in our young drivers. It seems like there is another young driver seriously injured or killed weekly on the nightly news, and many of these accidents were caused by cellphone use. I wish this issue was taken seriously by young drivers. There is a cellphone app, No Text While Driving, that has been designed to block cell use while driving.

As a trainer for professional drivers, we make it very clear that using your phone while driving a personal or professional vehicle is a huge cause of accidents, and the practice should be stopped. I would like to see all phones equipped with software that disables certain features while in motion.

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App
Ask.cars.com