A 32-year-old Clemmons, North Carolina driver recently died after choosing to use her smartphone while on the road. The Huffington Post reports that the woman was taking selfies and posting status updates on her social media accounts, all while driving on a busy highway. Her distractive behaviors took so much of her attention away from the road that she crossed the median and collided head-on with a large truck. Investigators discovered that the driver had posted a message on a social media site just one minute prior to the first call emergency responders received reporting the accident. The truck driver was unharmed, but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
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Social media trend
Taking selfies while driving is a growing trend among social media users, and it takes distracted driving to new levels. According to the Huffington Post, the practice, including taking short films while driving, has become so popular that well over 3 million posts to popular social media sites are labeled with hashtags relating to selfies. While some may argue that many of the photos may have been taken while the various individuals were at a complete stop, drivers often complete posts while in motion. Additionally, a review of the available photos proves that this is not the case in many situations. Users can browse social media sites and easily find thousands of pictures of motorcyclists, boaters, and car drivers all noticeably in motion. One common hashtag for these photos is #ihopeidontcrash, indicating that drivers are aware of the risks, but take them anyway.
Smart phone use remains one of the most distracting practices in which a person can engage while operating a motor vehicle, yet many do it despite the known dangers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 percent of individuals surveyed indicated that they had used their phone to send a text or email while driving in the past 30 days. Study participants were between the ages of 18 and 64.
Distracted driving kills
Distraction.gov reports that in 2012, more than 3,300 people were killed and another 421,000 were injured due to the negligent actions of distracted drivers in the U.S. It also reports that at any given time, around 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or other electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. This number has held steady since 2010 despite intense federal and local programs to increase awareness regarding the dangers of these habits.
The new practice of snapping selfies and posting them to the internet while driving has cost many people their lives and will continue to affect thousands more through car accident injuries and deaths. Those who have been injured due to the extreme negligence of another driver should contact a Chicago personal injury attorney to learn their rights and how to proceed in their claim for compensation.