Monthly Archives: December 2014

Survey Shows Drivers Talking Less on Cell Phones—Internet Usage on the Rise

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A personal injury attorney’s dream come true? Maybe. Drivers according to a six year survey are using handheld cell phones less while driving, however the use of the internet for surfing, social media and email use have increased. Over the past decade there has been a concern about distracted drivers including establishing laws for cell phone use while driving in many states. The study that was conducted shows that there has been a decrease in handheld cell phone use and at the same time the study shows during the past six years there has been a steady increase in smartphone related activities.

In the survey conducted by State Farm starting in 2009 to investigate the behaviors of distracted drivers a percentage of drivers have continued texting at a steady rate, while handheld cell phone usage has dropped. Accessing the Internet while driving has increased at alarming rates, going from 13 percent in 2009 to 26 percent in 2014 with 15 percent of drivers reading email while driving then and now it has risen to 29 percent. Use of the social media site Twitter by drivers has gone from 9 percent in 2009 to 20 percent currently.

State Farm director of technology research Chris Mullen said people driving believe they can do more than just drive and he said researchers are not certain what has caused this increase in behavior and spend time doing various things while driving. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association the District of Columbia and 44 other states since 2007 have enacted legislation against texting while driving.

The District of Columbia and 14 states have banned the use of handheld cell phones by drivers, but there are no states currently that prohibit any use of a cell phone while driving. Most states have not been successful in qualifying to obtain federal funding for campaigns to prevent distracted driving, GHSA executive director Jonathan Adkins said. Connecticut has been the only stated approved for the funding by Congress for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal year in the federal transportation bill.

They have been the only successful state that was able to meet the stringent requirements of the bill, which outlines fine structures for repeat offenders with no exceptions for drivers who text while driving even when stopped at traffic signals. Other states do have stringent regulations in place for drivers and are enforcing the laws, but the requirements are so limiting, Adkins said 5that it prevents almost all states from qualifying for the federal funding.

According to the State Farm survey data many drivers are self monitoring their distractive behavior behind the wheel, with approximately 63 percent of divers stating they are more likely to use cell phones while stopped at traffic signals than while driving. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that about 36 percent or one-third of motor vehicle crashes occur at intersections, which may not make using cell phones at traffic signals safer (Read More.)

Approximately 84 percent of the intersection collisions are due to driver errors such as failure to see other vehicles or the danger another vehicle may pose.
The State Farm survey from 2009 included an online survey of about 1,000 drivers who are on the roadways approximately 80 hours per week, are 18 years or older and they own a cell phone. With these added statistics on surfing the net and driving, we can only expect to see more of these intersection types of wrecks.