Nov 05

If you’re a fan of Instagram, you’ve probably noticed the millions of “selfies” taken everyday. If you’re an Instagram user, you’ve probably taken a few yourself (don’t be embarrassed. It’s okay.) Although these selfies are beloved all across this app used by millions around the world, they’ve reached a point where many users have crossed the line—taking pictures of themselves while driving.

Since texting became a part of our everyday lives, we have heard to never text and drive. There are many campaigns, such as AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, that keep us aware of the horrific statistics of what can happen when we text behind the wheel. But with Instagram becoming all the rage these days and many feeling the need to document every event in their life, it’s practically inevitable for lovers of this app to start using it while they are driving.

So is the news that people are taking pictures of themselves while driving shocking? No. What is shocking is that I’m not sure these people realize how dangerous it is. The only thing worse is that if they do.

Back in 2011, 10% of all injury crashes were reported as distracted driving crashes. But back in 2011, Instagram wasn’t as big as it is now. On February 1st of 2011, there were roughly 1.75 million Instagram users. As of September 8th, 2013, there were 150 million active users. Now, I know that not all these users are cropping, photo taking, and posting while driving, but just about three million of them are by hash-tagging “driving” in their posts. Additionally, there are 50,000 posts with “#drivinghome,” more than 9,000 posts with “#drivingtowork” and over 3,500 photos tagged with “#drivingselfie.”

Outrageous! No, this isn’t texting while driving, but it’s just as dangerous, if not more. Taking photos of yourself or anything else while you are driving is a major distraction.

Distracted driving, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is described as anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and/or your mind off your task: driving. I would like to inform everyone that taking driving selfies requires you to do all three.

So do yourself and your fellow motorists and others around you a favor and save those silly pictures of yourself for when you are in a safe environment. Just like texting can be done at another time, so can taking your photo.

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