A recent report from State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance shows that 48% of drivers between 18 and 30 years old use the Internet while driving.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that in 2010 distracted driving accounted for 3,092 deaths and 400,000 injuries in road accidents. From 2010 until now the number of road accidents has increased due to the expansion of mobile devices, mainly smartphones, which are very popular among teenagers and young drivers. In 2011 sales of Apple’s iPhone was up 81% to 72 million units compared with 2010.
State Farm’s survey made in July, shows that reading social media behind the wheel has seen an increase of 21% in 2011 to 36% in 2012 mainly for drivers between 18 and 29 years old, while checking email went up to 43% from 32%. It seems that banning using handheld cellphones while driving is not enough.
The DoT has been trying for the past two years to find a software solution to replace cellphone use while driving and the National Transportation Safety Board hopes to get approval to ban mobile device use behind the wheel in all 50 states.
“The mobile internet is generating another set of distractions for drivers to avoid”, said director of technology research at State Farm Chris Mullen. “Regulation, enforcement, education and technology all have a role to play”.