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Driving Selfies: A fatal phenomenon

Driving selfies: a fatal phenomenon
19th November 2014

Scroll down to see the full infographic.

It is common knowledge that calling a friend or sending a text while driving is dangerous, but it seems that many wouldn’t think twice about taking a photo of themselves behind the wheel.

Despite the obvious risks involved, a concerning number of people have been taking part in the #drivingselfie craze that has swept social networks such as Instagram and Twitter.

In an average month, around 916 statuses are tagged with #drivingselfie, whilst #carselfies has been used a staggering 165,423 times at time of writing (November 2014).

 

The trend is widespread, with one in four European youngsters admitting that they have taken a selfie while driving a car. When 884 social media users, with a collective reach of 1.26m people share driving selfies each month, it’s easy to see how the unhealthy habit has gained momentum.

But as tempting as it can be to join in with social media trends, it’s important that drivers tempted to get involved consider the risks that they are taking before picking up their phones.

A lot can happen in the time it takes to take a selfie, and many drivers may be surprised to hear that taking a selfie or checking a social network while driving can distract them for up to 20 seconds. In that time, a car travelling at 100km/h (or 60mph) will have covered the distance of five football fields.

Take a look at our infographic below to see the extent of the craze:

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The number of deaths on Britain’s roads is on the rise, and experts believe that mobile usage is to blame, encouraging police to check the mobile phones of the drivers involved at the scene of a crash.

Shockingly, sending or receiving Facebook messages while driving can reduce reaction times significantly more than driving under the influence of alcohol or some drugs. Driver selfies can reduce reaction times by 38 per cent, in comparison to 21 per cent when driving under the influence of cannabis, and 12.5 per cent when driving at the legal alcohol limit. How much more evidence do drivers need before they become as reluctant to use their phones while driving as they are to drive under the influence?

It seems that many of the people responsible for the wealth of driver selfies online believe that they are invincible, and despite news this year of a woman who died moments after posting a selfie, it appears they think it won’t happen to them. But by taking their eyes off the road for a short period of time, they are not only putting themselves and their passengers in danger, but also other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

As the tweets above show, many drivers guilty of joining in on the #drivingselfie craze think of it as just a bit of fun, often joking about the dangers or proudly showing off their ability to drive and take selfies without getting into an accident.

But not only should selfie-taking drivers worry about how their mobile usage can affect their safety, it’s worth noting that if they are involved in a crash shortly after using their phone, they may be held responsible for the accident, even if the other driver was in some way at fault too. If any other drivers have been hurt, or their vehicles have been badly damaged, the person responsible and their insurer will be held liable for any compensation claims.

Your Legal Friend is a reliable law firm with a team of legal experts that can help victims of road traffic accidents to gain access to the support that they need. If you’ve been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

 

Images used courtesy of Instagram.