Thursday, 7 November 2013

Young Drivers Snapping #DrivingSelfies On The Road

Eating, drinking, reading maps, making calls, texting and applying makeup are just part of a growing list of silly things that young drivers do whilst on the road.

According to Fox17 taking a photograph with a mobile phone (aka "selfies") whilst driving is the latest craze to add to the list.

The website has reported that almost 15,000 drivers have uploaded driving selfies to Instagram using hashtags like #drivingselfie, #drivingselfies and #drivingtowork. There are even those who have ironically used #IhopeIdontcrash...

Motoring experts in the US have called for young drivers to see common sense and curb their enthusiasm for selfies whilst on the road. Jackie Gillan, the president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety said:

“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.”

Governments, the police and road safety groups in the UK, US and in other areas of the World have been raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, with mobile phone usage being a primary concern. This includes texting, social media use and making calls whilst driving.

In the UK the Hampshire Constabulary in September this year launched Operation Tramline and detected 227 distracted driving offences in just 5 days! Commenting on this Seargent Paul Dimond, who headed up the operation said:

"Distracted driving is proven to be a significant factor in many of the collisions on our roads. The vast majority were holding phones in their lap and accessing applications or texting with their hands held low – this is incredibly dangerous both for the motorist and for other road users."

There are frequently stories in the press about motorists who crashed into other vehicles as a result of distracted driving, for example, the most recent was a lorry driver on the M25 who crashed into a queue of traffic as he was distracted whilst talking on the phone and checking his SatNav at the time - killing at least one other driver. Another truck driver in Arizona, USA crashed into a number of emergency vehicles, killing one police officer whilst distracted by semi-naked women on his smartphone.

Whilst taking a selfie whilst driving may seem like harmless fun at first it is still distracted driving and a moment's distraction could mean fatal consequences. Our advice – if you have to take a selfie in your car – make sure you’re not driving at the time…