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Selfies behind the wheel: The dangers of distraction

There is no arguing that distracted driving is dangerous and may result in serious car accidents, injuries and even death. People in Maryland and across the country who choose to talk, text and compose emails on their cellphones while driving pose an imminent danger not only to themselves, but to others as well. Yet, some people are taking it even further when it comes to engaging in hazardous behaviors behind the wheel. Drivers are snapping selfies, or taking self-portraits, while attempting to navigate a vehicle.

According to CNN.com, a number of social media sites, including Facebook and Instagram show selfies of people behind the wheel. Instagram alone has thousands of posts of selfies under hashtags, such as #drivingselfies and #drivingtowork. In order to accomplish this, drivers must remove their hands from the steering wheel, take their eyes off the road and direct their concentration toward their cellphone. While a number of drivers wait until they are stopped at traffic signals or stop signs to snap their portrait, many do not.

People take pictures while traveling at 50 to 60 mph, driving through traffic and navigating alongside other vehicles. Some people use apps while driving, such as Snapchat, which has a speed filter charting the drivers’ speed while they make a short video or take a picture. Facebook live and Facetime are other apps that tempt drivers to make calls while behind the wheel. Although teens seem to be more likely to take selfies, everyone participates in the act, including pilots, boaters, bicyclists and motorcyclists. 

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