I’ve written at length a number of times describing the dangers of taking your eyes off the road while you’re driving a vehicle, but today AAA Texas released a report warning of the dangers of taking “selfies” while behind the wheel. For those of you who aren’t aware, a “selfie” is a picture of yourself taken by yourself. Taking your eyes off the road at any point in time while you are driving is a terrible decision. Looking for your phone, answering a text message, fooling with the radio, or even checking your Facebook news feed are all things that can wait until you’re at your destination or stopped at a red light.
In the 4 seconds it takes you to unlock your phone, find the camera icon, and snap the picture of yourself, you’ve traveled approximately the length of a football field (assuming you’re traveling at 60mph). That’s a lot of ground covered in a short amount of time and with your eyes off the road, your chances of getting in an accident go up exponentially.
I hear of minor vehicle accidents involving phones all the time, but knowing that people are focusing more on their pictures being taken than the road in front of them, is a big concern for me. In 2011, there were 385 deaths related to cell phone use on the road. I can only imagine that in the subsequent years that number has gone up.
In conclusion, doing anything that takes your eyes off of the road while you are driving is a bad idea. I’ve heard of people putting their phones in their glove compartments and locking it using the key, so there’s no way to get to it unless the vehicle is off and the key is out of the ignition. That may be an extreme example of self-restraint, but do whatever works, just keep your eyes on the road!