It’s sort of appropriate, in a way, that State Farm released its annual research report on distracted driving ahead of one of the busiest series of travels days in the U.S. – obviously centered on the Thanksgiving holiday next week.
State Farm’s findings, by the way, shouldn’t surprise any truckers but should also heighten their awareness as they prepare to haul freight over the holidays. Though texting while driving remains a concern on the nation's highways, State Farm’s research indicates that people are also now “webbing while driving” with increasing frequency – that is, accessing the Internet while behind the wheel.
The insurance giant stressed said such behavior may pose equal or greater concerns in terms of how such activity distracts drivers and raises the risks of a crash.
State Farm said its July 2012 survey of nearly 1,000 motorists shines a light on the growing safety concerns surrounding people accessing the internet while driving, with four years of data showing a significant increase in the use of mobile web services while driving:
For all drivers, the numbers are no prettier:
“The ‘mobile Internet’ is generating another set of distractions for drivers to avoid,” warned Chris Mullen, director of technology research at State Farm. “While the safety community is appropriately working to reduce texting while driving, we must also be concerned about the growing use of multiple mobile web services while driving.”
Yet few of those polled think regulations banning such activity behind the wheel works:
That’s quite a conundrum, to say the least. In any event, truckers should take heed and scrutinize the vehicles surrounding them that much more closely as “turkey day” approaches, for it seems they might encounter more “Webbers behind the wheel” this holiday than they’ve done before.