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Drivers taking selfies pose new danger for NC motorists

Drivers who take selfies and post updates to social media are at a greater risk of causing a serious auto accident and may injure or kill other motorists.

Cellphones are considered a necessity for many North Carolina residents and people across the country. At the beginning of 2015, more than 64 percent of adult Americans owned a smart phone, according to Pew Internet Research Center. This number has been steadily rising over the past few years and is expected to continue growing into the future. Smartphones allow people to talk, text, check their email, search the internet and even watch videos. However, people who choose to use them while driving pose a serious threat to themselves and all of the other motorists on the road. One especially dangerous hazard involves drivers taking selfies and posting them to social media sites.

One Clemmons, North Carolina woman was doing just that when she lost her life in a catastrophic accident in 2014. Just moments before the accident occurred, the woman had posted a selfie and an update to her Facebook wall. Sadly, the young woman’s death is not an isolated case. Thousands of people take selfies while driving, and in turn, put their lives and the lives of others in danger. CNN News reported more than 9,700 Instagram hashtags for #drivingtowork, and approximately 3,727 for #drivingselfie. A search of any popular social media site turns up countless selfies of people who are driving various vehicles, taking pictures of passengers or even passing scenery.

Selfie distraction

While eating, drinking, changing the radio station or programming a navigation device are all dangerous distractions for drivers, talking selfies are especially lethal. In order to take a picture, the driver has to switch to the camera, position the phone correctly and snap a shot all while trying to stay focused on the road ahead. Drivers may then post the selfie to social media which requires them to choose the picture and upload it. He or she may decide to add a comment or hashtag to the post, creating even more distractions. All of these activities involve all three types of driver distractions: visual, manual and cognitive, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The brain and driver distractions

Some teenagers and young adults may think that they are able to multi-task while driving. Many feel confident that taking a selfie, creating a text or updating their profile will not interfere with their ability to drive. Studies show otherwise, however, according to the National Safety Council. After a comprehensive review of over 30 studies, the NSC found that the brain cannot effectively engage in two tasks at the same time. Drivers cannot focus on their driving environment while they are using their smartphones.

Finding legal representation

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you may suffer from a number of different injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, broken bones or paralysis. You may also have to deal with the emotional trauma that comes with being in an accident. During this difficult time, you may want to turn to a personal injury attorney in North Carolina who can help you review your legal options.

Keywords: car, auto, accident, injury, distracted, driving