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Stupidity Alert: Study Shows Drivers Under 30 Likely to Use Internet Behind the Wheel

Sections: Car Safety

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Surfing the web while driving is dangerous, but more people are doing it than ever.

A survey by State Farm shows nearly half of all drivers under age 30 admit to surfing the web on smartphones or other mobile devices while driving. (Marc A. Hermann photo courtesy NY Daily News.)

A study by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company shows half of drivers under 30 admit to using mobile internet behind the wheel, according to Automotive News.

If you’re one of those drivers, STOP IT ALREADY! Automotive News quoted U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who said more than 3,000 people were killed and more than 400,000 were injured in crashes caused by distracted driving. Don’t make yourself a statistic.

The temptation of using your phone or mobile device to check your social media feeds or read e-mails or text messages while driving is only increasing, however. As devices get newer, they make it ever-easier to access this kind of content, which drives society to remain connected more than ever. Perhaps afraid they’ll miss out on something or that an e-mail or status update just can’t wait until parked, more and more drivers are admitting to using the internet while driving.

According to State Farm’s survey of drivers aged 18 to 29, 48% admitted to accessing the web while driving. The number of those checking social networking sites while driving increased to 36% this year, up from 21% in 2009. Checking e-mail rose to 43% from 32%.

Automotive News said the National Transportation Safety Board is recommending manufacturers of mobile devices equip them with technology that disables them when in reach of a driver. That effort is likely to face opposition from those who frequently ride shotgun on long road trips and from parents who may use a smartphone to download YouTube clips or kid-friendly apps to keep children entertained while traveling.

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