Distracted driving has long since become a national safety issue. 44 states have passed laws prohibiting various forms of cell phone use while behind the wheel; particularly texting while driving. However, a recent report from State Farm Insurance indicates that people are still using their phones while behind the wheel, despite the known dangers and risk for being cited.

Essentially, 26 percent of the drivers polled in the report indicated that they have accessed the Internet while driving. This is double the number of drivers who indicated doing so five years ago.

Specifically, a greater number of people are checking email and updating their statuses while in traffic. This also suggests that the culture of constantly keeping in touch with friends through social media, no matter the venue, continues to grow as more millenials purchase their first cars.

Also, the proliferation of smartphones and automakers’ offerings to make access to smartphones easier has also contributed to the increase of drivers checking Facebook and Twitter updates through cars’ media centers. It must be that millenials are still a large car buying bloc, so automakers want to make sure they can compete in today’s marketplace.

Despite these trends, drivers still have the responsibility of using reasonable care while behind the wheel. This essentially means that staying on top of social media updates should be avoided while driving. If a driver fails to use such care, and it results in an accident, the driver could be held responsible for the resulting injuries and property damage.