When you think about distracted driving, “selfies” wouldn’t be most people’s first response. Well, meet the new and very real threat.
“Taking a photo of yourself while you’re driving a 2,000-pound vehicle down the road at 50 or 60 miles per hour?” asked Jackie Gillann with the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. “That is putting your life in danger and putting the lives of those around you in danger.”
Our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers understand that smartphone cameras have sparked a new trend among drivers — self portraits in the driver’s seat. According to CNN, social media does all the talking in this case. Just searching a simple #drivingselfie hashtag on Instagram will return thousands of pictures of drivers snapping shots of themselves while operating a motor vehicle. The results are the same on social media outlets across the board, including the hasgtags #drivingtowork, and cleverly, #ihopeidontcrash. And in many of these photos, the cars are in motion. To make it even worse, drivers oftentimes don’t have their hands on the steer wheel or even their eyes on the road.
It goes without saying — safe driving advocates are not happy about it. And it’s not just the drivers of motor vehicles on our roadways who are guilty. Search results have also returned motorcyclists, boaters and even pilots getting in on the “selfie” action.
Government officials, both local and state, have been working diligently to end the distracted driving crisis, but “selfies” have proven to be a new phase in the trend.
And the wearable technology that we’ve been hearing so much about might be the next driver distraction. One woman in San Diego got a ticket recently for driving while wearing the new Google Glass technology, the headset that projects Web content on a tiny screen above the user’s right eye.
Still, there are well over 3,000 people who are killed each and every year in distracted driving car accidents. And with the increase in availability of technology for drivers, officials estimate that this is a number that’s only going to increase.
The latest “selfie” trend has become such a concern, that officials with Toyota have rolled out a new driver safety campaign — “Don’t Shoot and Drive”. This is an ad aimed at the younger drivers, the ones who are never far from their smartphones, and features a picture of a totaled car edited with various Instagram filters.
Last year, there were close to 5,000 accidents in the state of Florida attributed to drivers being distracted by their cell phones or another kind of electronic device. Only about 250 of those accidents were directly linked to texting, although law enforcement officials say that the actual number of crashes caused by texting is probably much higher.
So next time you’re having a good hair day, or feel like sharing your feelings with you social media crowd, wait until the car is in park and is in a safe location. Avoid the insta-updates while moving. It’s a danger that’s affecting both you and the innocent travelers around you.
If you or someone in your family has been injured, contact the Hollander Law Firm at (888) 751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.