State Farm Research Shows Distracted Driving Problem Extends Well Beyond Texting

Use of mobile web in vehicles now increasing at a rapid rate

BLOOMINGTON, IL – December 13, 2011 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – New research from State Farm is showing that though texting while driving remains a concern on the nation’s highways, drivers are accessing other mobile web services at much higher rates.  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 that use of mobile web services has increased dramatically over the last two years.

For drivers 18-29:

  • Accessing the internet while on a cell phone while driving increased from 29 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2011.
  • Reading social media networks while driving increased from 21 percent in 2009 to 37 percent in 2011.
  • Updating social networks while driving increased from 20 percent in 2009 to 33 percent in 2011.

“Calls from the NTSB and others to ban cell phones are focusing now on both texting and web use while driving. The mobile web is a growing issue for safety advocates concerned about distractions while driving,”  said David Beigie, State Farm Public Affairs Vice President. “Additionally, while the focus has been on young people, the data also indicates that motorists of all ages are increasing their use of the mobile web while driving.”

For all drivers, the data showed:

  • Accessing the internet while on a cell phone increased from 13 percent in 2009 to 18 percent in 2011.
  • Reading social media networks while driving increased from 9 percent in 2009 to 14 percent in 2011.
  • Updating social networks while driving increased from 9 percent in 2009 to 13 percent in 2011.

Ironically, the study showed that use of texting while driving was remaining flat or decreasing in some instances:

  • For drivers 18-29, 71 percent said they engaged in texting while driving in 2009.  That number dropped to 64 percent in 2011.
  • For all drivers this number stayed relatively flat coming in at 31 percent in 2009 compared to 32 percent in 2011.

About the survey:

In August 2009 and 2010, and in July 2011, 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 consumers who identified themselves as having some insurance and financial responsibility for their household.  Only responses from consumers who had a valid drivers 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. Driving was defined as any time the car was en route to a destination, including being stopped in traffic or at a stoplight.

About State Farm®:
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers 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. 37 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.

SOURCE: State Farm

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