Despite laws, distracted driving on the rise

By Nick Kovatch on November 15 at 1:21pm

A survey from State Farm says more drivers than ever are distracted behind the wheel.

The insurer’s annual report on distracted driving found that with more people owning smartphones, drivers across all age groups are using those phones to text or browse the internet while they’re on the road.

Illinois will address the problem when a ban on drivers using any hand-held devices goes into effect next year, but State Farm spokeswoman Missy Dundov says the survey indicates similar laws haven’t come close to eliminating the issue.

“I think everyone that we surveyed felt that those laws are great,” says Dundov, “but they did not really feel that the enforcement was there.”

Dundov says more drivers over the age of 30 are surfing the internet or texting while they’re on the road.

“But our survey this year found that mature drivers are doing just as much distracted driving as the younger drivers,” says Dundov. “It’s opened our eyes that this is an issue across all generations, not just younger generations.”

Forty-four percent of the 1,000 people surveyed said they would support technology that would prevent e-mailing or texting while driving.

When drivers were asked how distracting they find certain activities, sending a text message was the top choice, with 76 percent describing it as “very distracting.”