State Farm's annual research report on distracted driving indicated 21 percent of drivers said they were accessing the Internet while on a cellphone in 2012, up from 13 percent in 2009. Fifteen percent read social media while driving this year up from 9 percent three years ago. Thirteen percent updated social networks such as Facebook, up from 9 percent.
Chris Mullen, director of technology research at State Farm, said the growing popularity of smart phones was contributing to the escalating numbers of distracted drivers. The survey revealed an increase in the percentage of drivers who said they owned mobile Web devices and who reported accessing the Internet while driving.
"The mobile Internet is generating another set of distractions for drivers to avoid," Mullen said in a statement. "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.
Forty-five percent said they were extremely likely to support technology that would prevent texting or talking on a cellphone while driving.
The survey of about 1,000 consumers who identified themselves as having some insurance and financial responsibility for their household was conducted by an outside vendor in August 2009 and 2010 and July 2011 and 2012. No margin of error was provided.