February 13, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- There has been a lot of discussion of texting while driving in the media lately for good reason. After all, those who do are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident than those who don't. Texting while driving is not the only form of distracted driving. As smartphones have evolved and made it easy to access the Internet, a new survey shows that more people are surfing the web or "webbing" while behind the wheel, putting others on the road at risk.
The survey, which was conducted by State Farm, found that young people--those between 18 and 29 years old--were especially likely to engage in webbing. According to the survey, the number of young drivers who said that they accessed the Internet while driving in 2012 increased 65 percent over 2009 to 48 percent of young drivers overall.
Young drivers are not the only ones surfing the web while driving. The survey's results found that webbing increased among all age groups, increasing from 13 percent in 2009 to 21 percent in 2012. More drivers also used their smartphones to perform other web-based activity during this time period. The number of drivers checking their social networks, such as Facebook, increased from 9 percent to 15 percent. Additionally, drivers who updated their social media websites went from 9 percent to 13 percent.
Although distracted activities while driving negatively affects the driving performance of people in all age groups, statistics indicate that younger drivers are more affected. Drivers who are under 20 years old are the most likely to be distracted, according to data from the Department of Transportation. Additionally, the young driver age group also had the highest proportion of drivers who were involved in fatal car accidents that were caused by distractions.
Accessing the Internet while driving causes the same dangers to others on the road as other forms of distracted driving. If a driver takes his or her eyes off the road to use a smartphone, it may cause the car to swerve outside of its lane or cross a median. Additionally, the distracted driver is less likely to notice bicyclists, pedestrians or the car in front, severely increasing the chance of a tragic car accident.
Consult an attorney
Under Texas law, it is illegal for novice drivers--persons under 18 years old--to use cell phones or text while driving. However, there is no ban on texting among other age groups.
Although not prohibited by law, distracted drivers can still face legal consequences. Under Texas law, individuals who are injured by a distracted driver are entitled to file a lawsuit to recover damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages and present and future medical expenses. If you or a loved one has been injured by an inattentive driver, consult an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can work to ensure that your right to compensation is protected and the responsible party is held accountable.