Do you know what a “selfie” is? A selfie is a photo that a person takes of him or her self. These pictures are frequently uploaded to social media websites and accompanied with a hashtag, which contextualizes the backdrop of the photo. For example, a person might take a selfie at the zoo and attach the hashtag: “#iloveanimals.” These photos became popular in 2013, and while they may appear entertaining, the trend of taking snapshots behind the wheel is worrying safety advocates.
At this time, there are no detailed numbers regarding selfies and traffic accidents. However, law enforcement is taking notice of the plethora of pictures taken while motorists are driving. This is alarming, as these photos not only risk the lives of motorists taking the pictures, but also the safety of others on the road.
When a person takes a selfie, his or her attention is diverted from the task of driving. First, the person is taking a hand off the wheel. Second, the driver is looking into the camera – not at the road ahead. Third, the motorist is unaware of all vehicles and road hurdles surrounding the car. All of this is a recipe for a car accident disaster.
Moreover, these selfies are not always still photos. Sometimes, they are videos lasting anywhere from three to 15 seconds. That is a significant time of inattention. It just takes one second for a distracted motorist to cause a motor vehicle accident.
Furthermore, several states have sanctions against distracted driving. In fact, Louisiana recently passed a law, which prevents motorists from uploading content to social media websites while operating a vehicle. Specifically, the law “prohibits any device from being used to access, read, or post to a social networking site while operating a motor vehicle and requires tests administered to driver’s license applicants include the applicant’s knowledge of distracted driving issues.” This means a selfie behind the wheel is illegal in the state.
The issue is a serious one, as distracted driving – including texting, talking on the phone, eating and more – is causing fatal accidents every day. Hopefully, the fad of the selfie will pass soon. It is far too dangerous for motorists.
If you have been harmed in a car accident that resulted from careless driving, do not hesitate to contact an experienced professional. A lawyer trained in personal injury law can aid you in recovering for any losses that you have sustained. To learn more, contact a qualified attorney in your area.