Taking selfies while driving poses unnecessary risks to others

Driving in Las Vegas, like most major U.S. cities, can involve taking some risks. Those risks seem to be increasing over time as social media and smartphones combine to create new avenues in which drivers can become distracted. A rising trend among young social media users involves drivers taking self-portraits, or selfies, with their camera phones and then posting them to the web, all while behind the wheel. The Huffington Post reports that the trend is not isolated, and a combined tally of all the related hashtags includes nearly 3.1 million posts, all of which had the potential to cause a deadly accident.

Deadly consequences

According to the Huffington Post, a Clemmons, North Carolina woman recently died after her distracted driving, which involved both posting messages to social media accounts and taking selfies, caused a severe accident. The 32-year-old posted a message about a popular song at 8:33 a.m. and authorities received a call about her crash at 8:34 a.m. in which witnesses indicated that the woman had crossed the median of Business 85 and crashed into a truck in a head-on collision.

Impact of distracted driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that drivers are deemed distracted when they perform another activity while on the road. There are three main types of distracted driving: visual, manual and cognitive. Like texting, taking selfies while driving is a triple threat because it involves all three types of distraction. The problem is increasing every year. A CDC report states that in 2011, 3,331 people died as a result of crashes that involved a distracted driver. In 2010, that number was 3,267. There were also 387,000 more individuals where were injured in these crashes in 2011. These numbers equate to 9 people dying and 1,000 being injured each day due to a driver who isn’t paying attention to the road. These completely preventable injuries and deaths would not occur if drivers kept their eyes, hands and minds on driving.

Highest risk factors for distracted driving

CDC studies also indicate that distracted drivers come in all ages. One study found that 69 percent of individuals surveyed had talked on their cell phones while driving in the past 30 days. It also found that 31 percent of drivers read or sent text messages on the road a minimum of one time in the 30 days prior to the survey. All study participants were between the ages of 18 and 64. While taking selfies while driving was not included in the study, it is just as dangerous and taxing on the visual, manual and cognitive attention that a driver should be using to operate their vehicle. When that attention is divided, car accidents occur and many are left injured and unsure of their rights. To ensure that they receive the proper compensation, victims in Nevada should consult with a personal injury attorney.