Is texting while driving still a concern?
Research around smartphone use while driving 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 distracted driving 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.
Texting while driving has evolved into mobile web use while driving
For ages 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 drivers of all ages
- 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 while driving still a concern for small businesses with drivers
Ironically, the study showed that use of texting while driving decreased in the younger audience while increasing overall:
- Distracted driving is the cause of 1 in 4 fleet crashes.
- Distracted driving accounts for nearly 40% of all fleet crashes.
- Research conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event are 23.2 times greater for commercial motor vehicle drivers who text while driving.
- Texting while driving can result in driver disqualification and penalties up to $2,750 for drivers and $11,000 for employers.
What can you do about texting while driving and mobile web use?
Distracted driving threatens the lives of many drivers, passengers, and pedestrians every day. However, you can help fight against distracted driving by avoiding dangerous habits such as texting while driving, accessing your mobile phone while driving, among other risky behaviors.
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.