Study: More drivers browse the web and e-mail behind the wheel

A recent study revealed that while some distracted driving activities are decreasing, others, like emailing and driving, are increasing among drivers.

Although talking on a cellphone while driving is a dangerous activity, there are other hazardous distracted driving activities that have become increasingly prevalent on the roads in Ohio and throughout the rest of the country. According to an annual survey conducted by State Farm that analyzed the behaviors drivers had towards distracted driving over the past six years, the percentage of drivers who talk on a handheld device while operating a vehicle has decreased while other activities, like web-browsing behind the wheel, have increased significantly.

Why these behaviors are increasing

In 2009, 13 percent of the drivers who participated in this survey admitted that they accessed the Internet while driving. By 2014, the number of drivers who reported that they participated in this same activity rose to 26 percent. Additionally, the number of drivers who said that they read email while driving increased from 15 percent in 2009 to 25 percent in 2014 and the percentage of participants who admitted that they read social media networks, like Twitter, as they drove increased by 11 percent from 2009 to 2014.

According to USA Today, those who conducted the study are not sure why web browsing and emailing activities increased over the past six years while the number of drivers who talk on their handheld devices as they drive decreased. However, some suspect that these smart phone-related activities may have increased because some drivers believe that they have available attention to devote to other things besides driving while their vehicle is in motion.

Distracted driving laws in Ohio

To prevent the number of injurious and fatal auto accidents involving driver distraction that occur in the state, Ohio has enacted several different laws related to distracted driving. According to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, it is illegal for drivers who are 18-years-old or older to write, send or read a text message while they are operating a vehicle. Those who disobey this law may be charged with a minor misdemeanor and be required to pay a fine of up to $150.

However, only those who are under the age of 18 are prohibited from using wireless communications devices and participating in smart phone-related activities while driving. Drivers who fall under this category cannot text, email, play video games or use a device in any other way, even while they are stopped at a stoplight.

Seeking compensation

Drivers in Ohio who are involved in an accident with a distracted driver, regardless of whether the driver was talking on his or her cellphone or reading his or her email, may experience severe emotional, physical and financial harm. If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision, consult with an attorney to find out what you can do to protect your rights to fair and proper compensation.

Keywords: distracted, driving, texting, accident