Rate Has Doubled Since 2009
State Farm's latest annual drivers' survey finds that while fewer motorists now talk on a hand-held phone while driving, and there has been no increase in those who text behind the wheel, the overall rate of cellphone use while driving has increased due to a surge in drivers who log onto the Internet. Since 2009, when the annual surveys began, the number of those who report surfing the Net while driving has doubled, from 13 percent to 26 percent. Among the activities contributing to the overall increase are reading email, up from 15 percent of drivers in 2009 to 25 percent now, and visiting social media sites, which has spiked from 9 percent five years ago to 20 percent this year. Needless to say, these distractions are just as dangerous as cellphone texting or talking.