Surfing the internet while driving a growing problem

As of late much has been made about the dangers of talking or texting on one’s phone while driving. Now, some drivers in Florida and beyond have another distraction at their fingertips, literally-surfing the internet while operating a car. The practice is known as “webbing” and it is mostly conducted on handheld devices such as smartphones.

State Farm recently conducted a survey regarding the matter. The survey was administered to 1000 motorists and was conducted this past July. While texting and using social networks is often attributed to younger drivers, between the ages of 18 and 29-years-old, the practice of using the internet while driving does not seem to be limited to the young. Between the years 2009 and 2012, the overall increase of surfing the net by drivers of all ages is up a total of 8 percentage points, to 21 percent.

Many states throughout the nation have laws prohibiting texting or even talking on the phone while driving. The motivation behind those laws is to decrease the number of car accidents that occur by keeping both of the driver’s hands on the steering wheel.

Certain vehicle makers are trying to address the issue of distracted driving by including infotainment systems within the vehicle that make it possible to access the internet, email and social networking sites using voice commands. While these features may make it easier for drivers to accomplish those tasks while operating a car, these are still distractions.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think the inclusion of infotainment centers is safe?

Source: MSN Autos, “Distracted driving due to Web surfing is on the rise,” Nov. 26, 2012