19 Percent of Drivers Say They Use the Internet While Driving

Mar 02, 2011, 14:42 ET from State Farm

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Results from an online survey conducted by State Farm® and released today show an alarming number of drivers who use the Web while driving.  

In November, 2010, State Farm conducted a small "pulse check" to dig deeper into the growing use of smartphones among drivers. Survey respondents consisted of 912 drivers who met the following criteria: had a valid driver's license, reported driving at least one hour per week, and owned a smart phone.

Of these drivers, 19 percent admitted to using the Internet while driving. The top five Web-based activities they engage in are:

  • Finding/reading driving directions,
  • Reading email,
  • Looking up/referencing specific information of immediate interest,
  • Looking at/reading social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.),
  • Composing/sending email.

Most respondents who said they use the Internet while driving reported that they engage in these activities when stopped at a stop light or stopped in heavy traffic. They also commonly said they access the Internet when driving alone, during daylight hours, or on long drives on the interstate.

Approximately 40 percent of the U.S. population owns a smartphone. Considering the growth of smartphone use among young adults and the risk of crashes associated with phone use while driving, State Farm will conduct an in-depth and comprehensive study to learn more about smart phone use among young drivers.

"We are very interested in learning more about the growing trend of using the Web while driving," said Cindy Garretson, Director of Auto Technology Research at State Farm. "We are working to prevent crashes and save lives, and this research takes us one step closer to understanding the driver distractions that affect everyone on our roadways."

About State Farm®:

State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S. and is also a leading insurer in Canada. Our 17,800 agents and more than 66,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®. 

SOURCE State Farm