An alarming number of drivers use the Internet while driving, according to results from an online survey by State Farm.
Among 912 licensed drivers who own smart phones and drive at least an hour per week, 19 percent said they used the Web while driving. State Farm said respondents' top five Web-based activities while driving were:
- Finding and reading driving directions
- Reading e-mail
- Looking up specific information of immediate interest
- Looking at or reading social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter
- Composing or sending e-mails
Most who said they use the Internet while driving reported they did so while stopped in heavy traffic or at a stop light. Some also said they accessed the Web when driving alone, during daylight hours, or on long drives on interstate highways.
About 40 percent of the U.S. population now owns a smart phone, State Farm said. Given the risk of crashes associated with phone use while driving, the insurance company plans to conduct an in-depth study to learn more about smart phone use among young drivers.
"We are working to prevent crashes and save lives, and this research takes us one step closer to understanding the driver distractions that affect everyone on our roadways," Cindy Garretson, State Farm's director of auto technology research, said in a media statement.
Crash prevention helps keep people safe and car insurance rates down.