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Survey suggests that Internet use behind the wheel is on the rise

If you are a Pennsylvania driver who texts or checks emails behind the wheel, unfortunately you are not the only one. Many drivers have these very dangerous habits, and a recent survey suggest that the number of drivers who use smartphones while driving is increasing. And, it is not only young and novice drivers who are a part of this disturbing trend.

State Farm recently surveyed 1,000 licensed motorists and found that while the number of people who text and talk on cellphones while driving has not changed very much over the past few years, the number of drivers who use their phones to go online while driving has almost doubled.

Smartphone ownership is also on the rise, and only 44 percent of those who responded to the State Farm survey said that they would support technologies that would make it impossible to text or email while driving. This is very interesting, given that 74 percent of those surveyed said they agree that texting or emailing while driving should be banned by law.

The survey reinforces the fact that most people are aware that cellphone use is a dangerous distraction from driving, but many engage in it despite the risks. They might think that they are such good drivers that they are above the risks, or they might naively think that because they only text behind the wheel from time to time, they are not being too dangerous.

The fact of the matter is that cellphones can be a deadly distraction. Making a choice to drive while distracted puts the driver's own life at risk as well as the lives of those around him or her.

Those who are injured in a car accident that involved a distracted driver may be able to hold the driver accountable under Pennsylvania law.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Older Drivers Catching Up with Younger in Distracted Driving: Survey," Nov. 12, 2013

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