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Emails, social media and Internet are distracting drivers more

In our last post, we talked about the dangers of texting while driving, and how many drivers simply ignore these dangers even if they are aware of them. As a follow-up to that post, we present another study that found fewer drivers are talking on their cellphones nowadays. Instead, they read email, surf the internet and use social media while driving much more often than before.

The study was performed by State Farm, and it found a sharp increase in a number of cellphone behaviors while people were in the driver's seat. Talking on the cellphone was not one of them. The exact figures weren't released, bu State Farm said the behavior has decreased since they started performing the annual survey in 2009.

Using the Internet while driving has doubled since 2009. In that year, only 13 percent of drivers said they accessed the Internet. Today, that figure is 26 percent. Reading emails while driving was done by only 15 percent of drivers in 2009, and now the figure stands at 25 percent. Most disturbing of all, using social media while driving has more than doubled since 2009, when the rate was 9 percent. 20 percent of people in the most recent survey admitted to such behavior.

All of these behaviors count as distracted driving, and they make a driver less able to react to traffic in front of them. If they were to cause an accident because they were looking at Facebook or reading an email from a friends, they could be held liable for the damages and injuries they caused.

Source: USA Today, "Drivers talk on cell phones less but surf, e-mail more," Larry Copeland, Nov. 18, 2014

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