It’s been found that almost one in 10 drivers have taken a ‘selfie’ while driving in the last month. This is according to new research, but this is just the number of both new and experienced drivers willing to admit they they have done this! Imagine how much the total amount could be if everyone who took a driving selfie admitted to it?
Just 9% of the 500 people surveyed by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) admitted to doing so, the figure rose to 15% of 18-24-year-olds and 19% of those aged 25-35 as the ages rose. While looking awesome at all times is important, there are some pretty obvious reasons why taking a selfie when driving could be life threatening when on the roads- and we are not talking about your hair being on point!
Driving is an activity that does need the drivers full attention at all times. Driving a car at any speed can be dangerous given the circumstances. Children running into the roads, small animals darting out from nowhere as well as other cars are just a few of the hazards one ca expect to encounter on the roads in and around the city. So naturally, taking a selfie while you are driving at even a moderate speed could be dangerous to others as well as yourself. The simple solution is not to do it in the first place, or at least pull up into a safe parking space to do so.
But back to the statistics: As many as 8% of drivers asked said that they had even used a video-calling service like Skype or FaceTime while actually driving their cars. The IAM study in 2012 showed that driving while taking a selfie was even more dangerous than being at the legal limit of alcohol or using cannabis before driving. This is even more so now given the increase in drivers practicing this.
People simply aren’t able to react to even slowly-developing hazards when they are taking photos of themselves, this often leads to extremely avoidable accidents. Overall it was found that men are the main offenders with 12% admitting taking a driving selfie in the last month compared to just 5% of women.
IAM’s chief executive officer, Sarah Sillars said of the results “Everyone knows how dangerous using a smartphone or tablet is while driving. That’s why it’s shocking to see new trends like taking selfies and making video calls becoming common practice. Safe driving is everyone’s responsibility and more must be done to catch drivers using these devices dangerously by increasing the fines and points for smartphone and tablet use at the wheel – there is simply no excuse…”
“…Campaigns must also be introduced that raise awareness of the prevalence of the issue in society and make this behaviour as socially unacceptable as drink-driving.”
The best thing to do would be to take selfies when your car has been stopped safely and is in a good spot to photograph from (Not on double yellow lines or at traffic lights).