Texting while driving is an obvious danger that the general public has been made perfectly aware of by now, but a new (perhaps even more alarming) trend is on the rise: photographing one’s self while in a car. The product of this act has been coined the “seatbelt selfie” and, not surprisingly, is commonly done by drivers of the younger crowd.
Although many of these photos are taken while the car is not in motion, it is clear that sometimes “seatbelt selfies” are taken while the subjects are in the middle of driving. Instagram alone has around four thousand posts showing under #drivingselfie. There is even a #ihopeidontcrash, which announces that the participant has considered the enormous risk, and chooses to proceed in spite of it.
Toyota Cyrpus, along with Marketway Publicis has initiated a “Don’t Shoot and Drive” campaign, discouraging selfies to be taken while behind the wheel. The ad cleverly parades a mangled car through 12 different filters, similar to those used in photo editing programs.
The Department of Transportation estimates that distracted driving is the cause of over 3,300 fatalities every year, making up around twelve percent of total vehicle related-deaths. By taking their eyes of the road for only five seconds, drivers are risking their lives long enough to travel the length of an entire football field.
While the focus of this issue is mostly on drivers of vehicles on the road, all of this can also be said for the operators of boats, motorcycles – and as photos prove – even airplanes. Anything that involves removing your hands from the steering wheel while driving should seem like a no-brainer to avoid, yet these actions continue to be popular and have gone as far as including videos as well.
Safety advocates urge users of both social media and smartphones to avoid harm by not snapping photos while operating an automobile of any sort. To do so can result in injury or even death.
Links referenced: http://www.gruber-law.com/selfies-can-lead-fatal-car-accidents/