A number of years has passed since distracted driving became a national safety issue. Since then, more than 40 states have passed laws banning prohibiting drivers from talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel, and several states have required drivers to use a hands-free device in order to take calls while in the car.
With these laws and a number of high-profile public safety campaigns, the number of people who talk on the phone while behind the wheel has declined. However, it appears that people are still using cell phones when they are driving, despite the safety risks.
According to an annual study conducted by State Farm insurance, the number of drivers who access the Internet while driving has doubled in the past five years. In 2009, only 13 percent of drivers admitted that they surfed the Internet through their phones while driving. However, 26 percent of drivers indicated that they did so this year.
While State Farm explains that they are not sure why more people are using cell phones in this manner, a number of factors likely contributed to this increase; especially the proliferation of smartphones in America. Through Apple’s Iphone and Samsung’s Galaxy, drivers can access maps and turn-by-turn directions, which tend to help people who are directionally challenged.
Even with these modes of communication, drivers must still use reasonable care while behind the wheel. If they fail to use such care and an accident occurs as a result, the driver could be held liable for the crash.