The Huffington Post recently reported on the death of a Clemmons, North Carolina woman who was involved in an accident. The 32-year old was driving to work one morning on a busy interstate when her car crossed the center of the highway, crashed into an oncoming recycling truck and caught on fire. Fortunately, the truck driver was unharmed.  Investigators soon learned that the woman was engaging in a new trend: taking selfies while driving. She took several photos of herself and posted them to a popular social media site while she was on the road. Her last post took place at 8:33 a.m., just one minute before the first calls came in reporting the accident. A Las Vegas car accident lawyer understands that this could happen to each and every individual who chooses to take a selfie while behind the wheel.

The new trend

A new trend has taken over social media sites in recent years. Many individuals, especially those of the younger generations, often take pictures of themselves, or selfies, with their smart phones and then post them to their favorite social media websites. However, the trend has recently expanded to include taking these photographs while they are behind the wheel and actively driving. According to CNN.com, thousands of photographs have been posted with hashtags relating to driving, and Huffington Post reports that more than three million hits come back when searching for driving-related posts.

A current search of one of the most popular social media websites today shows that since CNN and Huffington Post published their reports, the number of posts with #driving hashtags has skyrocketed to nearly five million. A search for “#drivingselfie,” “#drivingtowork” and even “Ihopeidontcrash” return another 50,000 posts. A Las Vegas car accident lawyer knows the devastation that many of these individuals are likely to cause and experience when their preventable, reckless actions lead to an accident and severe injuries.

Incredibly distracting behavior

Taking selfies and driving at the same time is one of the most distracting behaviors in which motorists can engage. Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe driver distraction as having three main parts: cognitive, or mental, manual and visual. If any one of these elements are occupied by anything other than the task of driving, then the individual is distracted and more likely to be involved in an accident. Taking selfies while driving is so dangerous because it requires individuals to be distracted in all three areas.

When drivers’ minds, hands and eyes are not focused on the task of driving, anything can, and often does, happen in just a few seconds. For this reason, 14 states completely prohibit the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Those who have been injured due to the negligent acts of a distracted driver should contact a Las Vegas car accident lawyer as soon as possible for assistance with their claims.