Although 41 states now ban texting and driving new evidence suggests that web surfing is on the way to becoming a major distraction for motorists. State Farm insurance released a study this week that shows a significant increase in the percentage of drivers who admitted to surfing while driving during the past 4 years. In 2009 just 13% of drivers had admitted to using mobile websites, but in 2012 21% of drivers admitted to browsing. The biggest jump came from young drivers between the ages of 18-29, 48% of whom indicated that they have used a web browser while driving in the past year.
Young drivers are not the only group responsible for the increasing trend. Smartphone ownership in older drivers rose significantly during that same time period, suggesting that older drivers are also to blame.
Interestingly 72% of drivers surveyed also indicated that they strongly agree with laws that ban texting and driving.
What Does This Trend Say About Attitudes Towards Distracted Driving
A spokesperson for State Farm stated that these statistics indicate that the public push against distracted driving has not been taken seriously by many drivers. The State Farm study also found that the percentage of individuals who read email or used social media while driving also increased.
Florida’s Texting Ban Makes Most Cell Phone Browsing Illegal
Florida’s cell phone use while driving law is relatively weak compared to many states. Although Florida’s law does ban texting, emailing, instant messaging and other communications, the law arguably does allow for some forms of web browsing, so long as the use of the cell phone to: navigate the vehicle, provide safety related information such as emergency, traffic, and weather alerts, or to access radio broadcasts. However, an officer is not allowed to stop an individual if they are merely using a cell phone, the officer can only cite the motorist if they are being pulled over for another primary offense.
What Distracted Driving Costs
Cell phone use is the number one cause of distracted driving accidents. A study from the National Safety Council suggested that one quarter of all auto accidents may be the result of cell phone use. The annual cost of these accidents across the country is $43 billion each year.
West Palm Beach Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured by a distracted driver contact the Law Offices of William E. Johnson, P.A. Our expert West Palm Beach auto accident attorneys can help you get on the road to recovery. To schedule a free case evaluation with a traffic accident attorney call 561-832-4848 today.