MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Most of us are guilty of it, taking pictures of ourselves and posting it on social media. It’s called a selfie. But the latest self-absorbed trend is flat-out dangerous. It’s the car selfie.
“Selfies are extremely dangerous. And nobody really needs to see you in that moment,” insisted Juan Rivera, the local field manager for AAA. But take a look at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. There are millions of people seeing others in that “moment,” all appear to be taking a car selfie. Reality star Kendall Jenner wrote that she’s “rollin with her rolley” in a driving selfie, while her sister Kylie Jenner showed herself with the caption “car selfie for dayzzz.”
“I’ve seen a ton of driving selfies. I don’t know if people are actually driving when they are taking it. I’ve even had friends send me driving selfies. Selfie video of them drivin,” said one driver.
Not only are people making driving selfies, they are broadcasting them to the world in hashtags. AAA has been tracking #drivingselfie, #drivingtowork, the ever-terrifying #drivingfast and #drivingintherain.
“They think they are cute getting a hundred likes in the car with a seatbelt,” said a driver.
The car selfie is so popular that the Automobile Association of America, or AAA, has issued a warning about it begging drivers to stop taking driving selfies.
“It’s absolutely beyond texting and driving, beyond using the phone… selfies are just the most insane way to get into an accident and it shouldn’t happen at all,” insisted AAA’s Rivera.
So how dangerous is it? AAA broke down just how far people drive distracted in terms of the length of time it takes to take a picture. And they’ve described it in terms even Miami Heat NBA Champ Lebron James can understand.
For example, the AAA said that a driver like King James, who is taking a photo for approximately two seconds, takes their eyes off the road for nearly the length of two basketball courts.
A driver taking a video while driving, as Lebron did the night of the Jayz/Justin Timberlake concert, is not paying attention to the road for the length of 5.5 basketball courts, according to the AAA.
The statistics are bad and getting worse: more than 600,000 drivers us their cell phones on the road, and 12-percent of the deadly crashes in 2011 involved distracted driving.
“I think it’s really dangerous yes! You should probably be watching the road when you are driving.Driving and taking pictures that’s not really cool,” one driver said.
That’s the auto club’s message exactly.
“Today is the day that everybody needs to put the phone down and focus on the road,” explained Rivera.
And it’s not just selfies behind the wheel that concerns AAA. Texting and driving is dangerous, so is talking on the phone. And AAA insists that even talking on a hands free phone is a dangerous form of distracted driving. So put the phone down until you arrive at your destination safely.