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“Selfies” While Driving: A New Peak of Distracted Driving Stupidity

Posted Scott B. Cooper on Dec 20, 2013 in Car Accidents

Every time we think we’ve seen the limits of the dumb things people do—we are surprised again by human ingenuity.

We have spoken before about the dangers of distracted driving—especially about the risks of using mobile devices to access the Internet. Emailing and texting while driving in Pennsylvania isn’t just against the law: it’s also remarkably dangerous. Studies by the Transportation Institute at Virginia Tech estimate that texting while driving increases the chance of an accident by a factor of 23. The U.S. Department of Transportation says that distracted driving causes around 3,300 traffic deaths every year.

Some people have absorbed the message—they turn off their smartphones when they get in the driver’s seat.

But some people—and yes, we mean mostly teenage drivers here—think it’s cool to flout the rules. Rather than give up phone use while driving, they are actually taking pictures of themselves doing it, and posting those pics online.

A Serious Risk to Themselves and Others

According to CNN and other news sources, thousands of “selfies”—self-pictures—taken by young drivers have shown up on social networking sites such as Instagram and Twitter. Normally nonjudgmental journalists have called the teenagers who perform such distracted driving stunts “idiots” and worse. Time magazine reported, “In what should have been the most unnecessary press release of all time, the AAA warned drivers to quit being idiots and stop taking selfies while driving.”

The danger is extreme. A driver must devote considerable attention and at least one hand to operate the cell phone to take a picture while driving. This is comparable to composing and sending a text message—which is equivalent to driving blind for more than the length of a football field at highway speeds.

Of course, the driver is endangering himself, his passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists by using his camera phone. What few teens seem to have considered is that they are also posting online definitive proof that they have violated cellphone bans and documented their lack of good judgment. Even if these drivers are fortunate enough to avoid a tragic Pennsylvania traffic accident, they may lose a job offer or other future opportunity when a potential employer finds these images online years later.

Injured by a Distracted Driver in Pennsylvania? We Can Help!

At Schmidt Kramer, our Harrisburg car crash lawyers represent people just like you who have been hurt in Pennsylvania motor vehicle accidents and are seeking to recoup their losses. We have a proven track record of holding dangerous drivers accountable for their actions.

If you or a family member has been hurt a distracted driver in Dauphin County, Perry County, Schuylkill County, or any neighboring community, you should not have to cover your own medical expenses, forfeited income, and other losses. Call our Harrisburg trial lawyers at 717-888-8888 or 888-476-0807 toll-free to schedule a free, confidential case review or to request a FREE copy of our helpful brochure, Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured in an Automobile Accident?