AAA Texas Warns ‘Selfies’ While Driving Are Dangerous Distractions

double yellow road line with cracks

(Irving, TX) – There’s a dangerous distracted driving behavior that’s becoming more prevalent on the roads.  People are striking a pose while driving. The activity is trending as thousands of young drivers share photos and videos of themselves in the act of driving. 

 

On social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram there are millions of driving photos and videos, but looking closely at hashtags such as #drivingselfie, #drivingfast, #drivingtowork, and #drivingintherain reveal particularly dangerous distracted driving behaviors, warns AAA Texas.  In some photos the speedometer is plainly visible and shows the vehicle is moving.

 

With many new mobile devices and tablet computers in the hands of people, especially young drivers, after the holiday season, AAA Texas urges people not to take selfies while behind the wheel.

 

“The only thing you should be doing while driving is focusing on the road ahead.  Taking pictures or video takes your focus off the road,” said AAA Texas/New Mexico Representative Doug Shupe.  “Hundreds of thousands of people are injured and killed each year as a result of distracted driving and these injuries and deaths are entirely preventable.  Put the camera down and wait until you arrive at a safe destination.  Don’t let a driving selfie or video be the last photo you ever take.”

 

Approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving during daylight hours, according to the latest National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) for the year 2011.  Further, in 2011, of those people killed in distraction-affected crashes, 385 died in crashes in which at least one of the drivers was using a cell phone (12% of fatalities in distraction-affected crashes) at the time of the crash.

 

Twitter allows a maximum of six seconds of video while Instagram allows a maximum of 15 seconds.  Traveling at a speed of 60 miles per hour, a driver taking a photo for approximately two seconds takes their eyes off of the road for 176 feet which is the length of nearly two basketball courts, over half a soccer field, or nearly half a football field.  A driver taking a six second video is not paying full attention to driving for a total of 528 feet which is equivalent to more than five and a half basketball court lengths, nearly two soccer fields, and one and a half football fields.  Finally, a driver taking a video that’s 15 seconds long is not paying full attention to the road for a total of 1,320 feet which equals the length of 14 basketball courts, almost four and a half soccer fields, or nearly four football fields. 

 

Inattention Comparison at 60 MPH

 

 

Total feet

Basketball court lengths

Soccer field lengths

Football field lengths

2 sec. photo

176

1.9

0.59

0.49

6 sec. video

528

5.6

1.76

1.5

15 sec. video

1,320

14

4.4

3.7

 

AAA Texas reminds people of all ages to never be distracted while driving.

 

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

 

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