Although the dangers of texting and driving are widely known, throughout the nation people continue engaging in this deadly behavior. In 2017 alone, distracted driving car accidents killed more than 3,100 people and injured thousands more, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If texting and driving was not deadly enough, now motorists are taking pictures of themselves while driving and posting them to social media websites.

Lethal selfies

The deadly trend of taking selfies while behind the wheel is apparent on a multitude of social media websites. Twitter posts show hundreds of pics under “driving selfie.” Instagram shows more than 3,727 posts tagged with #drivingselfie and over 1,800 posts under #drivingselfies. Even #drivingtowork brings up more than 9,700 posts.

Sadly, some videos posted on SnapChat and other websites show drivers’ last moments before they are involved in deadly car accidents as a result of taking pics and videos of themselves on the road.

Understanding the types of distractions

There are three types of distractions that can cause car accidents, and interestingly enough, taking selfies while driving involves all of them:

  • Manual distractions require drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel.
  • Visual distractions require drivers to take their eyes off the road.
  • Cognitive distractions take drivers’ focus off the road.

Not only do drivers remove their hands from the steering wheel and eyes off the road in order to pose for the perfect selfie, they also remove their focus off the road while doing so. Many take it a step further to post the pic on social media and may write a caption to accompany the picture while driving.

Drivers are not the only ones who put their lives in danger. Pilots, boaters and motorcyclists also post selfies and thus put others at risk as well. It is critical for the safety of drivers, passengers and anyone on the road that all motorists put their cell phones away while driving.