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Webbing while driving!

I saw articles today that the unemployment rate in California dropped from a whopping 12.5% in December to a whopping 12.4% in January (oh, the PRIVATE sector is NOT HIRING out here), and that the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.9% in February. More about those stats another day.

I saw an article about people looking up Web pages, following driving directions, reading and composing emails, playing with apps on the smartphone, and checking Facebook – all while DRIVING! My earlier article on the driving habits of the common, variegated California “maroon” will have to be E-X-P-A-N-D-E-D! :-)

A survey (released by State Farm insurance this week) of 912 smartphone users (the phones may be “smarter” than the users) showed that more than 19% of them “webbed” while driving! That’s 1 out of 5!

The survey respondents said that they “web” in heavy traffic, while stopped at a red light, during long drives on the open road, and during daylight hours.

Well, that seems to cover a lot of “turf.” Given the varied geography of California, from busy cities to ocean-side cliffs to winding mountain roads, and a seeming “Natural Selection” style of placing guardrails, insurance rates are probably going “nowhere but UP!”

The unscientific survey was conducted online, so it may include more tech-savvy people and younger people. The LATime article notes the increasing number of people who LOOK at their phones while on the road – often requiring a gentle BLAST of the horn while they remain stationary long after the traffic light has turned green.

The State Farm study notes that almost 40% of Americans now have smartphones, a percentage that is expected to increase rapidly.

I recently marveled at the airliner-like “cockpits” of vehicles on TV, which provide EVEN MORE distractions for people who can barely drive to begin with! :-)

Not that they would admit it…. :-) I probably have a lot of friends in high tech who are similarly living in denial.

-Bill at

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