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Texting isn’t the only danger distracting drivers

Last week, we discussed how texting while driving continues to be a problem on California roads despite the state’s strict laws against it. We discussed that texting is just one of the many distractions that cause drivers to get into car accidents when their eyes and attention is focused on something other than the road.

A recent article from USA TODAY shed even more light on the topic in discussing a recent survey that was administered by State Farm insurance. State Farm has surveyed drivers each year since 2009 on questions regarding their distracted driving habits and opinions.

In this year’s survey, it was revealed that fewer drivers are talking on hand-held cellphones while driving, but just as many drivers admit to texting while driving as they did in 2009 despite the laws that have been adopted by a majority of states.

Additionally, the survey indicated that compared to 2009, more drivers are admitting to surfing the Internet, checking emails and browsing Twitter other social media networks while driving.

In fact, the percentage of drivers who admit to accessing the Internet while driving has doubled and the percentage of drivers who admit to accessing social media networks more than doubled over the past five years.

As we discussed in our post last week, texting is a particularly dangerous distraction for drivers because it requires the driver’s attention, eyes and at least one hand to be on something other than driving. Surfing the Internet, emailing and social networking each require the same, showing just how dangerous these growing trends are.

The USA TODAY article also indicated that while many drivers think that they can “self-regulate” by only using their cellphones while the vehicle is stopped such as at a red light, this really isn’t any safer.

USA TODAY reported that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than one-third of all car accidents take place at intersections, perhaps when drivers have their “guard” down.

Source: USA Today, “Drivers talk on cell phones less but surf, e-mail more,” Larry Copeland, November 18, 2014

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