An informal study conducted by State Farm Insurance found that nearly 1 out of 5 drivers use the internet while driving. Due to these alarming results, State Farm has expressed plans to conduct a more thorough study later this year.
The director of Auto Technology Research at State Farm, Cindy Garretson, believes these figures to be underestimated. According to Ms. Garretson, the survey respondents were in the mid 30’s age group, but the majority of smart phone users fall into a younger demographic.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that from 2005 to 2009, traffic fatalities attributed to driver distraction increased from 10% to 16%, and that drivers under the age of 20 years old made up 16% of distracted driver fatalities. This was followed by the 20-29 year old population which made up 13% of all distracted driver fatalities. Although the 30-39 year old age group did not represent the highest number of distracted driver fatalities, it was the group that had the highest number of drivers that were distracted due to cell phone use.