Recent Study Indicates Distracted Driving Is On the Rise
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV )
As smartphones become increasingly popular, so do the amount of people using them… even when they shouldn't.
Twin Falls resident Lindsey Hughes states, “every time I pull over at a stoplight most likely the person is texting.”
Similarly, Tenley Bowdon adds, “if they just look down you know they are either texting or surfing the web and it’s really distracting.”
When State Farm started the survey in 2009, 13 percent of people went online while driving.
This year, that number has nearly doubled to 24 percent.
Among drivers age 18 to 29 the amount found surfing the web behind the wheel has jumped from 29 percent to 49 percent in just 4 years.
Andrew Hitt of the Idaho State Police notes, “it’s fairly common throughout all age groups but younger drivers seem to have more of an issue with it because they are more comfortable with the technology, they've had more exposure to it.”
Bowdon adds, “I have to make an effort not to do it while I’m driving because the numbers are going up substantially.”
Darla Kidd of Burley adds, “I see it a lot... I think the young people are more aware of it, that it is dangerous and causing accidents.”
Being caught on the phone is cause for an infraction and a fine.
But Idaho State Police warns the dangers are much more serious than a ticket.
Says Hitt, “we have had issues with texting and driving, some well documented cases of fatalities. Anything that takes your eyes off the road is not only a hazard to you but all of the people around you.”
Urging drivers to be smart, by putting away the smartphone.