Drivers taking selfies threaten the lives of motorists in North Carolina

December 21, 2014

People who are taking selfies and posting them to social media while driving have started a new and deadly trend across the country.

The selfie phenomenon has people across the world taking pictures of themselves and posting those pictures on various social media websites. While taking a selfie may seem like innocent fun, it can become deadly when people snap selfies while driving. Not only does using a cellphone to talk or text while driving pose a serious risk to other motorists on the road, but taking selfies while behind the wheel of a vehicle takes distractive driving and the risk of auto accidents to an entirely new level.

According to CNN News, this dangerous activity has become quite popular among Americans, and evidence of it can be found all over the internet. A look on Instagram shows more than 9,700 selfies listed under the hashtag #drivingtowork, and more than 3,727 selfies listed under the hashtag #drivingselfie. Surprisingly, commercial truck drivers, motorcyclists and pilots are joining in on the selfie trend, significantly increasing the risk of devastating car accidents, injuries and deaths.

Selfie distraction

North Carolina enacted legislation banning motorists from texting on handheld devices while driving in an attempt to reduce the high rate of fatalities caused each year by distracted driving, according to Distracted driving was responsible for killing 3,328 people in 2012 and injuring 421,000 people that same year. Although talking and texting on a cellular device are two of the most dangerous tasks one can engage in while driving, taking a selfie may be just as dangerous, as it involves all three types of distractions.

Types of distractions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three main types of distractions, including the following:

  • Cognitive distractions cause motorists to remove their focus off of driving. This includes talking on a cellphone or to other passengers in the car.
  • Manual distractions happen when motorists remove their hands from the steering wheel, and can occur when drivers dial a phone number or reach for an object.
  • Visual distractions occur when motorists remove their eyes from the road. This can happen when a driver is texting or checking their email while driving.

In order to take a selfie, drivers must access the camera on the smartphone, position their cellphone just right and snap a picture. For many drivers, however, it doesn't stop there. Many continue to enter text, which is a manual, visual and cognitive distraction, and then post their picture on social media.

This is what happened in an unfortunate accident involving a 32-year-old North Carolina woman. According to the New York Daily News, High Point law enforcement received a call alerting them to a fatal accident that occurred at 8:34 a.m. The girl, who had been posting selfies to her Facebook profile, had lost control of her vehicle and smashed into an oncoming truck. Her last selfie was posted at 8:33 a.m.

Contact an attorney

Motorists who have been injured or killed as a result of driver negligence should contact an attorney as soon as possible. You may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional trauma that you have received as a result of a devastating car accident.

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