Drivers in Alaska surf the web behind the wheel more than ever before

Many drivers in Alaska endanger the lives of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians by using their cellphone behind the wheel. However, a new survey released by State Farm, which was conducted over the past six years, revealed that while some distracted driving activities relating to cellphone use have decreased, others have increased significantly.

From 2009 to 2014, the number of drivers who reported that they talked on a cellphone while driving decreased. Additionally, the number of drivers who reported that they texted behind the wheel remained stable. However, during this same time period, the number of drivers who admitted that they accessed the internet while driving doubled. The number of drivers who emailed while driving also increased by 10 percent and the number of drivers who accessed social media increased by 11 percent.

Why these activities have increased

Researchers are not sure why these web-based activities have increased over the past six years, but they are equally as dangerous as texting or talking on a cellphone behind the wheel. However, some believe that this increase may be related to what activities drivers believe they can effectively handle while driving. Some drivers think that they have available attention to devote to something else besides operating a vehicle, and thus use their cellphone to browse the internet, use social media or email.

Confident multitaskers are often the most unsafe

Although a distracted driver may wrongly believe that he or she has extra attention to dedicate to something other than driving, a study shows that the drivers who are the most confident in their multitasking abilities are often the most unsafe. According to Scientific American, to come to this conclusion, researchers first had the participants fill out a series of questionnaires that asked about their:

  • Driving habits
  • Beliefs about how capable they are of multitasking successfully
  • Tendencies to be impulsive

Then, the participants were asked to take a test, called the Operation Span task, which is a test that measures a person's multitasking ability. The participants who were least likely to perform well on this test were the ones who were most likely to report that they used their cellphone behind the wheel. These participants were also the ones most likely to report that they were confident in their ability to multitask.

Recovering after an accident in Alaska

Drivers in Alaska who believe that they can successfully use their cellphone behind the wheel often cause car accidents that result in serious injuries for those involved. If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident, speak with an attorney in your area to discover what compensation may be available to you.