More people browse the internet while behind the wheel

December 3, 2012 12:00 AM

Texting while driving may be one of the biggest safety concerns on the roads today, but another mobile distraction is becoming more prevalent. According to a new study from State Farm, more drivers are surfing the internet when they are behind the wheel.

The insurance company polled almost 4,000 drivers over the course of four years and found that the number of drivers ages 18 to 29 who surfed the web on a smartphone rose from 29 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2012, USA Today reports. Another 36 percent use social media sites while driving and 43 percent said they check their email, according to The Los Angeles Times.

"The mobile internet is generating another set of distractions for drivers to avoid," said 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 web services while driving."

The high numbers may be frightening to most other drivers on the roads, as the odds of being involved in an accident dramatically increase when individuals are texting or browsing the web. Using smartphones to surf the internet has already accounted for an estimated 1 million accidents a year - along with countless instances of auto repair, damage and injuries, the news source reports. 

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