Selfie. It’s the buzzword that everyone seems to be using. Everyone is posting pictures of themselves on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Views on selfies have become somewhat controversial to the point that certain locations, such as historical landmarks, restaurants, and other establishments have banned visitors from taking pictures of themselves!
There is a new trend in the world of selfies – car selfies. Popular among teens and celebrities, this trend has grown quickly. Search for #carselfie on Instagram, and you’ll be surprised to find that almost 500,000 photos appear. If you search #drivingselfie, you’ll find almost 18,000 photos, and #drivingtowork has about 15,000 results. Some people add extra hashtags to their photos, such as #IhopeIdontcrash and #EyesOffTheRoad. OnTwitter, you’ll find similar results – an overabundance of these photos. As driving selfies are becoming more popular, road safety advocates are becoming more concerned about the dangers of this trend. Similar to texting and driving, taking a selfie while driving is distracting. Since it is common among young drivers, this trend is seriously impacting road safety.
Ford conducted a survey that revealed 25% of young drivers have taken a driving selfie, and 33% of all drivers have taken a driving selfie in the U.S. This data is significantly different than that of other countries, where less people admitted to ever taking a car selfie. In the U.S., teens are attached to their phones. Young drivers are already at risk on the roads due to their inexperience. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, with 12% of fatal accidents due to distracted driving. According to the Department of Transportation, more than 3,000 deaths are caused by distracted driving every year. When you add this growing trend of car selfies into the mix, you have very serious risks on the road.
The process of taking a selfie while driving leads to other problems, namely that it encourages other in-car phone activity, such as checking social media. A study found that it takes, on average, 14 seconds to take the photo and 20 seconds to post the photo. That means that someone who is taking a photo while driving is distracted and potentially has their eyes off the road for 34 seconds. Road safety experts warn that this phenomenon is potentially more dangerous than texting or talking on the phone while driving. When you do this, you put yourself in danger, as well as those around you.
While this trend is new and some may find it amusing, safety experts warn people that the potential for injury and death is very real. The more driving pictures people continue to post, the more it encourages others to do the same. If everyone decided to stop contributing to this trend, we could put an end to its scary potential.
If you have been in an accident with a distracted driver, call Davis & Gelshenen LLP at 1-866-427-2121 for a free initial consultation with one of our Experienced, Trusted, and Recommended Personal Injury Attorneys. Davis & Gelshenen LLP handles cases throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio, and will meet with you at your home to discuss your case.