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No “Selfies” in the Driver’s Seat!

We’re all connected on social media, whether its Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. But there are some of us who are just a little too connected.
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According to CNN, there are drivers who want to see themselves doing just that — driving. And they’re talking steering-wheel selfies — just call it the new epidemic hitting our roads.

Our Boston car accident lawyers understand that selfies are all the rage, but behind the wheel is no time to add to your collection. You might think it’s a little silly, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s happening. Just take a look at the social media hashtags. By searching #drivingselfie on Instragram, you’re going to get close to 4,000 results. Look at #drivingtowork and you’ll get close to 10,000 results. Some users are even using the optimistic tag, #Ihopeidontcrash.

Not all pictures are solo photo shoots. Many of them reel in the participation of passengers — zooming landscape in the background — all while no one is holding onto the wheel or looking at the road.

It should come as no surprise that safe driving advocates are not happy.

“Taking a photo of yourself while you’re driving a 2,000-pound vehicle down the road at 50 or 60 miles per hour? That is putting your life in danger and putting the lives of those around you in danger,” said Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety’s Jackie Gillan.

This isn’t just happening in the driver’s seat. It’s also going on in boats, on motorcycles and on planes.

Government officials, law enforcement officers and safe driving advocates have been working in recent months to help raise awareness about distracted driving. Although texting while driving may have been the main focus of these efforts, it should go without saying that includes “selfies.”

Yet it’s a serious enough issue that officials with Toyota released a new campaign called “Don’t Shoot and Drive” to keep photo-happy drivers off their cell phone cameras.

In the state of Massachusetts, all drivers, regardless of age or license status, are banned from texting while behind the wheel. The state’s texting ban covers writing and reading e-mail, Internet searching, and other non-calling activity on a phone, laptop, or handheld electronic device by anyone operating a motor vehicle.

Each year, there are close to 3,500 fatalities caused in the U.S. by distracted driving, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

When you’re behind the wheel, the best notion is “out of sight, out of mind.” We’re asking you to keep the cell phones (and cameras) out of the driver’s seat. Keep them in your glove compartment or in your back seat. Keep them on silent, too. This is going to help to eliminate the urge of use while operating a motor vehicle. Remember that it only takes a split second to get into a serious, and potentially fatal, accident. Don’t let your steering wheel selfie cause that accident. Stay safe and keep smiling.

If you or a loved one was involved in a motor-vehicle accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-888-367-2900 today.

More Blog Entries:

Snow and Ice Increase Traffic Accident Risks on Massachusetts Roads, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 23, 2013

Keeping Teen Drivers Safe with “5 to Drive”, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 18, 2013