Drivers using internet while driving

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Drivers with smart phones are fessing up to doing some not so smart things behind the wheel. Aside from texting while driving many are admitting to even surfing the web while on the road.

"You're guilty of it?" asked NBC12's Evrod Cassimy.

"Yes I am," responded driver, Kendall Watkins. "It's addicting!"

"Yeah," laughed driver, Edniesha Brown. "I do use it for the navigation."

"It's very dangerous!" added Watkins.

A new survey by State Farm Insurance found that these drivers are not the only ones. Out of 912 smart-phone owning drivers, 19% said they use the internet while behind the wheel. That would include finding and reading directions, writing e-mails, web surfing and using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. But one driver we spoke with learned how dangerous internet use while driving is the hard way.

"Someone was coming in the middle of the road but she didn't see me, I saw her," said driver, Courtney Thomas. "I ended up hitting a ditch...bust my face open and everything."

Most of the drivers surveyed said they use the internet while driving when at a stop light or in heavy traffic or on long drives on the interstate. State Farm Agents say it's still as dangerous as texting while driving and it's best to resist the urge all together.

"If you're going to be tempted put it on silent or maybe just put it on silent so you just hear a phone call," said agent, Jeff Cochran.

Texting while driving has been debated in the General Assembly. As of now it's still only a secondary offense meaning police cannot pull you over for just that.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.