Despite many warnings urging motorists to avoid distracted driving behaviors, drivers continue to text, compose texts and talk on their cellphones. In Connecticut and in many other states in the nation, it is illegal for motorists to use a hand-held cellphone while driving, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

Yet, one of the most dangerous activities occurs when drivers take selfies while behind the wheel and continue to post their pics on social media sites. 

Selfies and distractions

When taking selfies, people experience three types of distractions: manual, visual and cognitive. Not only must they remove their hands from the steering wheel to hold the phone and snap the pic, they must also remove their eyes off the road to pose for the selfie. Furthermore, cognitive distractions occur when drivers take their focus off the road and concentrate on their phone. 

Engaging in all three distractions simultaneously greatly increases the risk for a serious car accident, injuries and death. 

The facts

A simple search on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and SnapChat show thousands of posts from drivers taking selfies from behind the wheel. With hashtags including #drivingselfie and #selfiewhiledriving, it is clear to see the number of drivers putting their lives, and the lives of others, in danger. 

According to CBS News, a survey recorded drivers saying they felt it was okay to snap a selfie in the driver’s seat if they were doing the following: 

  • Stopped at a red light 
  • Going slow in traffic  
  • Traveling along at freeway speeds 

Approximately 8% of the drivers surveyed admitted that they had a close call while using their cellphones behind the wheel.