While law enforcement agencies across the country have been cracking down on texting while driving in recent years, a new study shows that surfing the web behind the wheel is a growing problem, as well. According to a survey by insurer State Farm, which polled a group of 4,000 drivers over the age of 18, 48 per cent of respondents ages 18-29 admitted to surfing the web while driving, up 29 per cent since 2009. Those over the age of 29 are also browsing the net in bigger numbers, with 21 per cent owning up to the practice.
The trend can largely be traced to the dramatic increase in smart phone usage, as well as mobile-friendly social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Many drivers are also looking to their phones for maps and directions through the use of web-based navigation apps. While in-car internet browsing has yet to be as publicly condemned as texting, it looks poised to become another hot button issue as web-enabled smart phones continue to gain in popularity.