Selfies While Driving: Are They Leading to More Traffic Collisions?
In this information-sharing world, we live in, it is quite common to see photos or comments from individuals practically every minute of the day on social media sites and other areas on the Internet. But many individuals may be surprised to learn that drivers are actually taking selfies and posting them while driving.
A new Auto Insurance Center (AIC) study listed the top (and bottom) 10 states that had driving-related hashtags on Instagram posts and unfortunately, Colorado was number nine on the “top” list, while Hawaii took the number one spot for having the most driving-related Instagram posts.
What the Study Revealed
Although taking selfies while driving is troubling all on its own, the study also showed that drivers were also uploading the pictures to various social media outlets while driving, as well as checking posts and reviewing comments.
More specifically, the AIC study took a close look at 70,000 Instagram posts over a five-year period, all of which had driving-related hashtags, like #drivingselfie, #hopeidontcrash, and #selfiewhiledriving, to name a few. The AIC also reviewed the National Highway Traffic Administration’s latest data regarding the percentage of drivers in the U.S. who were involved in fatal crashes while using their cell phones.
Unfortunately, according to AIC, the number of driving-related selfies on Instagram is rising. Between 2012 and 2013, there was a 58 percent increase in the number of posts; however, in the period between 2014 and 2015, that percentage increased dramatically to 80 percent.
Colorado’s Efforts to Deal With Distracted Driving
Colorado’s Department of Transportation (CDOT) recently launched a campaign that is aimed at lowering distracted driving accidents. The campaign, known as “A Killer Habit,” seeks to get the word out through movie theater ads, online videos, Pandora audio ads and numerous digital platforms.
Of course, all drivers are strongly urged to avoid as much distraction as possible when driving by simply putting their cell phones elsewhere in the vehicle — preferably out of immediate reach — to avoid temptation while driving. State Patrol Chief Scott Hernandez noted the dangers of distracted driving, saying, “Similar to alcohol, using a cell phone while driving impairs your ability to react to changing road conditions…We’re seeing more and more crashes involving distracted driving.”
Last year, Colorado saw over 15,000 automobile accidents that were caused by distracted drivers, and a CDOT spokesperson noted that the numbers are likely under-reported since it’s difficult to make a determination with respect to whether or not a driver was distracted right before a crash occurred. Still, the AIC study serves as a strong reminder that taking and posting selfies while operating an automobile is never a good idea and can actually be more hazardous than texting or talking on the phone while driving.
If you have been injured in a crash that you believe may have involved a distracted driver, contact a Denver accident attorney right away to discuss your options under the law. Contact Levine Law today and let us help you get the just compensation you deserve.