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Web Browsing While Driving: Bigger Problem Than Texting?

Updated on: 4/27/2023

Distracted driving from web browsing
New research from State Farm Insurance is showing that the use of mobile web services is at a much higher rate than in past years. While texting and driving remains a huge concern, the problem statement also needs to acknowledge other forms of driver distraction on a mobile device.

State Farm’s Survey Strategy:

The information was gathered from an online survey of U.S. consumers aged 18+, who had some insurance and financial responsibility for their household. The responses were only accepted from consumers who had a valid driver’s license, owned a cell phone, and reported driving between 1 and 80 hours per week. The information was taken from nearly 900 motor vehicle drivers who have used mobile device services increasingly throughout the last two years.

This data is in regards to drivers aged 18 to 29:
  • In 2009, web service use while driving increased 29 percent, to 43 percent in 2011.
  • Social network updates while driving increased from 20 percent in 2009 to 22 percent in 2011.
  • Using the internet on a mobile device while behind the wheel increased from 29 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2011.

For all aged drivers:
  • Using social media networks while driving increased from 9 percent in 2009 to 14 percent in 2011.
  • Updating social networks while driving increased from 9 percent in 2009 to 13 percent in 2011.
  • Using the internet in general while driving increased from 13 percent in 2009 to 18 percent in 2011.

The (few) distracted driving improvements:

For those drivers aged 18-29, 71 percent said texted while driving in 2009, that number dropped to 64 percent in 2011.

In regards to all drivers, the amount of texting while driving motorists stayed pretty flat at 31 percent in 2009 to 32 percent in 2011.
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