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Why people risk lives to snap selfies behind the wheel

While many Americans are well aware of the dangers associated with distracted driving, an alarming number of people continue to engage in this hazardous behavior. The truth is, using your cellphone while driving not only puts your life in danger, but it endangers the lives of everyone around you. Distracted driving takes your focus off the road, acting as a visual, manual and cognitive distraction. One trend takes using your cellphone while driving to a whole new level.

Thousands of people are taking selfies of themselves while behind the wheel and are then posting them to social media sites. A simple search under #drivingselfie, #drivingtowork, #drivingselfies and similar hashtags on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat brings about more than 72,000 posts of people taking pics while driving. Some capture the last pic of the driver right before getting into a fatal accident.

Taking a pic causes three types of driver distractions: manual, cognitive and visual. Visual distractions occur when drivers take their eyes off the road and prepare their phone for a selfie. Taking your hands off the steering wheel causes a manual distraction and cognitive distraction occurs when drivers no longer concentrate on the road. This distraction can cause a delayed reaction to driving hazards, such as objects in the road, pedestrian crosswalks, traffic signals and bad weather conditions. You are unable to respond quickly to slowed traffic or other events going on around you when you are  busy taking selfies and posting them on social media.

This information is intended to educate and should not be used as legal advice.

 

 

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