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Selfies: the latest form of distracted driving

Distracted driving is not a new phenomenon, but a new way to divert a driver's attention is concerning safety officials. More and more drivers are taking self portraits and posting them online while driving.
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    December 31, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Selfies: the latest form of distracted driving

Article provided by Zimmerman, Lieberman, Tamulonis & Hobbs
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Distracted driving can take on many forms. Changing the radio station, applying makeup, reading a map, attempting to eat a quick meal or even reprimanding young passengers in the backseat can all cause a driver to focus his or her attention somewhere other than the roadway and potentially lead to a distracted driving accident. Although these are all dangerous, a new form of distraction is causing concern among safety professionals: selfies.

A staggering number of drivers are taking selfies, a term used to describe taking one's own photo. Even more concerning -- many of these drivers are taking the time not only to pose for the photo, but also to place the photo in the app Instagram, find a filter to change the look of the photo and then post the photo on their individual profile within the site. All while driving.

Dangers of selfies and driving

Needless to say, this is a very dangerous pastime. Unfortunately, it has become so common that even CNN is taking notice. A recent report by the media mega-giant stated that an investigation found Instagram had over 15,000 posts under various hashtags with "driving" in the title, such as #drivingselfie or #drivingtowork.

How dangerous is this activity? According to the United States Department of Transportation's official distracted driving resource, 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents that were attributed to a distracted driver in 2012. In addition, when it comes to fatal car accidents 21 percent of drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 were distracted by their cellphones at the time of the crash. It appears teens are also more likely to be involved in the selfie phenomenon. The same investigation by CNN also found the majority of selfies posted on Instagram and Twitter were of teens and young adults.

It is also important to note that selfies are not just showing up for those driving passenger vehicles. Selfies are also posted of individuals driving motorcycles, boats and other watercrafts as well as airplanes.

What this means for victims

Those who are injured in a crash that involved a distracted driver will likely qualify for compensation. If successful, these funds could help cover the high cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation as well as lost wages connected to an injury. In order to receive compensation the injured party must establish that the driver at fault for the accident failed to operate the vehicle with due care at the time of the crash. This will likely be established if it can be shown that the driver was distracted at the time of the accident. Presence of a selfie posted online near the time of the crash could help meet this requirement.

If injured in a crash, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer to help build the victim's case and better ensure a successful outcome.

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