Distracted Driving Includes Growing Mobile Web Use

Distracted Driving Includes Growing Mobile Web Use

Driver looking at her phone

Recent research from State Farm shows that texting while driving remains a concern on the nation's highways, but drivers also are accessing other mobile web services at much higher rates. And these behaviors may pose equal or greater concerns in the battle against distracted driving.

In a new survey of nearly 900 motorists, the company found use of mobile web services decreased slightly for drivers ages 18-29 but increased for all drivers overall.

For drivers 18-29

  • Accessing the internet while on a cell phone while driving decreased from 54% in 2015 to 50% in 2016, up from 29% in 2009.
  • Reading social media networks while driving decreased from 44% in 2015 to 43% in 2016, up from 21% in 2009.
  • Updating social networks while driving increased from 34% in 2015 to 35% in 2016, up from 20% in 2009.
  • Playing games on cell phone while driving is 19% in 2016. 

For all drivers

  • Accessing the internet while on a cell phone while driving stayed steady at 29% in 2015 and 2016, up from 13% in 2009.
  • Reading social media networks while driving increased from 21% in 2015 to 22% in 2016, up from 9% in 2009.
  • Updating social networks while driving increased from 16% in 2015 to 19% in 2016, up from 9% in 2009.
  • Playing games on cell phone while driving is 10% in 2016. 

Texting warnings may be working

Ironically, the study showed that use of texting while driving decreased in the younger audience while increasing overall:

  • For drivers 18-29, 71% said they engaged in texting while driving in 2009. That number dropped to 61% in 2016.
  • For all drivers this number increased from 31% in 2009 to 35% in 2016.

About the survey

In August 2016, the State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm™) Strategic Resources Department conducted an online survey with adults 18 and older to examine their attitudes and behaviors regarding distracted driving. This survey was the eighth wave of a study first conducted in August 2009. 

Disclosures

Rates, rating factors, and coverages vary by state. The above information is not a guarantee of how State Farm may rate any individual vehicle.