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Distracted Driving 2.0: “Webbing” May Be Overtaking Texting

Most California drivers know that phone-related distractions are a big problem for many motorists, endangering the safety of passengers and other motorists. Far too many drivers use their phones to text while behind the wheel – a frequent factor in dangerous crashes. A new study, however, shows that texting is just one distraction problem.

With the proliferation of smart-phones, more Californians are using phones to surf the Internet while driving. State Farm Insurance conducted a recent study to look at this dangerous new trend, cutely termed “webbing.” The study found that “webbing” is on the rise and 48 percent of young drivers between the ages of 18 and 29 admitted to doing it.

Distracted driving is a factor in numerous motor vehicle accidents throughout California and the rest of the nation.

Smartphones and apps may create a deceptive illusion of efficient and effortless multitasking, leading young drivers to take unnecessary risks. It may seem like it only takes a moment to send a text or read an online news headline – but in those few seconds, a car can travel a relatively long distance while the driver ignores the road. For example, a car driving 55 mph can cover the distance of a football field in the 4.6 seconds it takes to send a text message.

It is easy to see why NBC quoted one California police officer as saying phone-related distractions are as dangerous as drunk driving because “your absolute attention is off the roadway.”

When distracted driving contributes to a crash, the other driver may be responsible for more of the burden of liability specifically because he or she recklessly decided to “web” and drive. Anyone who suffers injuries in a distraction-related crash should consult with an experienced California personal injury attorney.

Source: NBC San Diego, “Study: Teen Drivers Surf the Web and Worse,” Gordon Tokumatsu and Bill French, Nov. 28, 2012