Growing trend of selfies while driving

JonathanMarch 19, 2014

The internet and technology in general have brought us a number of brilliant things that make our lives easier. However, there is one dangerous new trend that is putting drivers and everyone around them at risk.

Research from Confused.com shows that seven per cent of motorists have admitted to taking a photograph of themselves, or selfie, while behind the wheel of a car. However, these careless drivers are not just content with taking photos of themselves, as four per cent use the latest social media app – Snapchat – to share their image with friends.

It appears that this dangerous habit is sparking a new trend among drivers. The price comparison site found that in a recent 30-day period, 287 tweets were tagged with #drivingselfie and #drivingselfies.

However, reckless behaviour on smartphones isn't just restricted to taking photos. More than a third (36 per cent) of motorists admit to using their mobile phone when driving, mainly to make or answer calls (75 per cent) and send or check texts (43 per cent). 

Despite the obvious high number of people using their smartphone, just eight per cent have been caught by the police. Of those who were caught, more than half (57 per cent) admit to continuing to use their phone when driving.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: "Research shows that it is simply not possible to use a mobile phone in any way whilst driving and stay safe no matter how confident you may be in your driving ability. This seems to be another form of peer pressure to take part in the latest trend and the best way to avoid it is to give young people the skills to stand up for themselves and not follow the herd and post silly photographs online. 

"It is also really worrying that many drivers caught using a phone are not learning the lesson. The IAM want to see more traffic police out there catching bad drivers but this survey would seem to suggest not even that will stop those addicted to using their smartphones."


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