Bloomington, Ill., /North Little Rock, AR – The holidays are always a busy travel time. This year, a survey by State Farm has revealed that distracted driving is likely increasing, adding to travel safety concerns. Though texting while driving remains a concern on the nation's highways, people are also webbing while driving with increasing frequency. These behaviors increase concerns about travel safety for everyone.
The July 2012 survey of nearly 1000 motorists shines a light on a growing safety concern: people accessing the internet while driving. Four years of data show a significant increase in the use of mobile web services while driving. Among drivers 18-29yrs, nearly half (48 percent) admit to surfing the web on their iPhones while driving.
State Farm spokesman, Gary Stephenson, states, "To think that approximately half of young adults are webbing, with some frequency, while driving is really shocking. It shows that the message about the danger of distracted driving has not been taken seriously on a personal level, by a very large number of today's drivers."
The growing popularity of smart phones seems to be contributing to these escalating numbers. The survey revealed an increase in the percentage of drivers who own mobile web devices, as well as an increase in the number of people who report accessing the internet while driving. More drivers than ever are webbing while driving.
"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."
While the distracted driving focus has traditionally been on young people, the data indicate that motorists of all ages are using the mobile web while driving.
When asked for their opinion on ways to reduce distracted driving, 72% of drivers surveyed strongly agree with laws or regulations prohibiting texting or emailing behind the wheel. Additionally, almost two-thirds believe that laws governing cell phone use while driving are enforced to little or no extent. However, to a lesser degree, only 45% were extremely likely to support technology that would prevent texting or talking on a cell phone while driving.
'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."
In August 2009 and 2010, and in July 2011 and 2012, State Farm's Strategic Resources Department used an outside panel vendor to conduct an online survey of U.S. consumers ages 18+. Survey responses were received from approximately 1,000 consumers each year, who identified themselves as having some insurance and financial responsibility for their household.
Only responses from consumers who had a valid driver's license, owned a cell phone, and reported driving between 1 and 80 hours per week were used when reporting the findings of behavior-based questions. Responses from all respondents were used for the attitudinal questions.
State Farm Consumer Consultants is an online community sponsored by State Farm's Strategic Resources Department and managed by Communispace. The 300 Consumer Consultants participants are influential, involved, activist consumers, who offer advice and perspective on a range of insurance and financial services topics. Opinions voiced may not be representative of all consumers. However, the comments can provide insight into how consumers feel about the topic at hand.
Gary Stephenson, Public Affairs Specialist, (501) 615-6004.
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.