As drivers, we can be endlessly creative at thinking of new ways to distract ourselves as we drive. There are the classics—putting on makeup, eating, rummaging around the backseat for something we lost—but with today’s technology, we have even more options.
Texting while driving has become more and more common, despite many attempts by public safety advocates to make the public aware of the risks involved. One in five people admits to surfing the internet or reading emails while driving. The newest trend in distracted driving is taking driving selfies. A quick search on Instagram will pull up thousands of images with the hashtag #drivingselfie or #drivingtowork. Some people seem to recognize the danger involved in taking a photo of yourself while driving by adding the hashtag #ihopeidontcrash, but the risk of a crash doesn’t seem to be enough to actually stop them from posting the pictures.
While these selfies may be fun to scroll through for many people, highway safety advocates aren’t amused. “Taking a photo of yourself while you’re driving a 2,000-pound vehicle down the road at 50 or 60 miles per hour? That is putting your life in danger and putting the lives of those around you in danger,” said Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety of the recent phenomenon. If the trend continues, it will likely be the target of an upcoming public safety campaign.
Stopping people from texting while driving has similarly been the target of multiple advertising campaigns in the past few years. Some of the videos have gone viral with hundreds of thousands of shares on Facebook. Some of the same people that comment on these ads horrified by the dangers they share are the same people, however, that have #drivingselfies of their own posted.
Most people seem to know that distracted driving is a risky behavior, but that doesn’t seem to stop some people from succumbing to the temptation. This should be a particularly worrying trend for all drivers. Distracted driving causes over 3,300 accidents every year in the United States, according to the Department of Transportation. Even the shortest distraction can increase the chances of an accident. Briefly texting while driving increases a person’s chance of a crash by 23 times.
We all have to move past simply recognizing the dangers of distracted driving to actually internalizing them and refusing to use our phones while driving. Texting, using the internet and even taking selfies can really endanger our own lives and the lives of others. It isn’t worth the risk.
Now that distracted driving accidents are unfortunately becoming more and more common, you or someone you care about may have been involved in one. In that case, you know firsthand the dangers posed by using your phone and driving. Driving distracted is illegal. If you were hurt in an accident, caused by another driver who was driving distracted, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to get a free consultation about your own case today.