In the News, December 6, 2016

New study shows you’re more likely to die from a selfie than a shark

Some say we are the generation of narcissism, although I like the term self-confidence better. Over one million selfies are taken on a daily basis, and I am guilty of contributing to that number. If you didn’t take a picture of yourself at the gym, did you really even workout? That morning Snapchat validates my overpriced shoes the moment I hashtag “#BossStyle.” We truly are becoming obsessed with documenting our every moment and becoming Internet sensations. We judge ourselves on the amount of “likes” we receive and the amount of followers we gain. But what happens when we start taking that obsession to the road?

Only a few short weeks ago, pregnant celebrity Blac Chyna was criticized for taking a Snapchat while driving, but do we really have room to talk? According to The Auto Insurance Center, nearly 4 in 10 drivers will use their smartphones to check social media while driving, at the expense of traffic safety awareness. The popular app Instagram has over 70,000 posts with driving-related hashtags. Inquistr released a study showing that at least 30 people die a year from taking selfies, with one of the most common poses happening behind the wheel. That means selfies have become more dangerous than sharks, which only kill approximately five people a year. Many posts show motorists even starring in their own live streams as they drive. Liberty Mutual reported that nearly 70% of teens will use social media apps while driving and do not feel it is a main distraction. The teens ranked drinking alcohol as the worst distraction while driving. I guess it is good that they at least realize the risk in that behavior. It is still shocking, however, that only 6% of teens think checking their favorite apps while behind the wheel could lead to an accident. In another survey sponsored by the National Safety Council, 74% of motorists say they will use Facebook while they drive. While many of those surveyed claim to understand the risk in playing on their phones, they say they will continue to do it anyway.

Every time a driver takes their eyes off of the road to look at their phone, their lack of traffic safety awareness increases the chance of crashing by at least 6 times. It is pretty apparent that we should not be taking selfies – or doing anything else on our phones – while we drive, yet people do it every day. I say we put our efforts into a new trend, #IWillNotSelfieAndDrive.

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