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The hazards of drivers taking selfies

Although driving requires the full attention of the person operating the vehicle, the number of people who apply their full concentration on the road while driving is dwindling. It isn’t uncommon to see motorists engaged in many distractive activities while behind the wheel. These activities include texting and/or talking on a cellphone, checking email, posting status updates, and even attempting to take pictures of themselves while driving.

According to the National Safety Council, there are three types of distractions: cognitive, manual and visual. Cognitive distractions remove drivers’ focus off of the road and onto another task. While manual distractions cause the driver to remove their hands from the steering wheel, visual distractions cause the driver to take their eyes off the road. All three can be extremely hazardous and cause potential death to the driver.

When drivers decide to snap a selfie and post it to their favorite social media site, they are engaged in all three types of distraction. Not only do they have to take their hands off the steering wheel to snap the picture, but they must take their eyes off the road to operate their cellphone and pose. Needless to say that they are not concentrating on the road while all of this is happening.

The media is filled with stories of people getting injured or killed in accidents caused by distracted drivers. According to CNN, there are over 3,700 posts on Instagram of people posting selfies of them behind the wheel under #drivingselfie and more than 9,700 under #drivingtowork. Although these selfies are taken by all age groups, the focus seems to be teenagers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving is involved in 12 percent of teenage fatal accidents.

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