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The new dangerous trend in distracted driving: 'webbing'

Distracted driving continues to harm motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and families in Fayetteville and throughout the entire country. While many distracted driving accidents are the result of texting while driving, a new and equally dangerous practice is on the rise: webbing.

Webbing is accessing the Internet via cellular phone, and when done behind the wheel, it's extremely dangerous. Common webbing practices include updating a status on a social media website like Facebook, reading emails or accessing other information on the Internet.

A survey conducted by a national insurance company shows webbing is on the rise. In 2009, 29 percent of drivers surveyed admitted to webbing behind the wheel, while in 2012 the number jumped to 48 percent. One reason for the increase is that phones with Internet capability are becoming more commonplace.

While lawmakers are imposing penalties on drivers caught texting while driving, what to do about this new webbing trend is posing new challenges and concerns. In response, automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have developed technology that allows drivers to access social media websites and other sites more safely, using voice and audio functions.

Some argue this simply provides another form of distraction while driving, though supporters of the new technology say while it may not be ideal, it's better than drivers trying to look at a tiny screen to type when they should be paying attention to the roads. However, folks who have been affected by distracted driving accidents know all too well that the best way to avoid a car accident is to simply avoid distractions when driving.

Source: MSN Autos, "Distracted driving due to Web surfing is on the rise," Nov. 26, 2012

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