With all the backlash that distracted driving has garnered over the last two years, it is surprising when a report is released about how people still use cell phones while driving. According to a recent NBC News.com report, an increasing number of drivers are taking pictures of themselves with cell phone cameras while behind the wheel. Also known as “selfies”, these pictures are showing up in growing numbers alongside suggestive hashtags, including: #drivingtowork, #drivingintherain, #morningcommute, and #drivingfast.
Unfortunately, there are no statistics connecting selfies with car accidents, but the risk behind the practice is obvious. If a driver is focusing on a camera, pushing a button on the phone to take a picture and seeing how the picture came out; chances are that he or she is not focusing on the road. This could have disastrous results given that when a driver takes their eyes of the road while at 55 miles per hour for a second or two, the car travels the length of a football field. Essentially, the driver could miss seeing a hazard that could lead to a terrible accident.
From a legal standpoint, taking selfies could lead offending drivers into liability. Such risky behavior could be viewed as breaching the duty to use reasonable care while driving. If a person is injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, he or she could seek compensation for their injuries.
During the holiday season, it is likely for more selfies to find their way onto social media outlets as people share their experiences with the world. We hope that no one does it while driving.
Source: NBC News.com, “Friends don’t let idiots snap selfies while driving,” Helen A.S. Popkin, November 19, 2013