The selfie pandemic
‘Selfie’ was declared by the Oxford Dictionary as 2013’s word of the year. This term refers to a self-portrait taken of yourself by using a smartphone. It has been so ubiquitous lately. People snap photos of themselves anywhere and post them on their social media accounts. The trend even got the attention of the American Automobile Association (AAA), not for posting their own version of it, but for warning the public of its dangers.
AAA reminded motorists that they are responsible for their own action when they’re behind the wheel. Most drivers know this, yet may still take selfies and use their cell phone while driving. AAA's spokesman added that drivers who take selfies or text while driving could be sending the last photo or text that they will ever take.
AAA also tracked hashtags and found that the word "driving" was heavily used. Aside from the common ones, #drivingselfie, #drivingfast and #drivingtowork, another hashtag that made its rounds online was #rainx. This hashtag showed pictures of people who took pictures of their windshield. They focused their camera on their windshield while driving in the rain to feature the beading effect of the rain after using Rainx. According to CNN there were over 3,727 Instagram photos using #drivingselfie, more than 1,869 for the plural #drivingselfies and over 9,700 for #drivingtowork.
Distracted driving takes on new form
In Kentucky alone, there were over 61,000 crashes recorded in 2012 that involved driver distraction. These accidents resulted to 174 fatalities and 14,500 injuries. Of those, 23% were deadly collisions and 49% took place on Kentucky roads. Although these figures showed a 25% decline from the 2011 statistics, there are still too many. No life is worth risking just for the sake of a snapshot.
It is usually assumed that teens are the ones most likely to engage in driving selfies, but there are older motorists who also enjoy a good selfie. You probably know or have seen someone taking selfies while driving. If you can, ask the person to refrain from taking a selfie. Also, if you're the passenger, it is best not to take selfies. This could distract the driver and cause an accident.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I would like to emphasize that an accident can happen at any time. Don't let your mind wander and focused on the road. Let's look after one another, and avoid taking selfies (crazy that's a word now) while driving.