AAA Texas is sending out a warning about a dangerous trend: drivers taking "selfies" behind the wheel.
The agency says the dangerous distracted driving behavior is becoming more prevalent on the roads.
AAA Texas says there are millions of driving photos and videos on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. The agency points to hashtags such as #drivingselfie, #drivingfast, #drivingtowork, and #drivingintherain that reveal the dangerous behavior. In some photos the speedometer is plainly visible and shows the vehicle is moving.
“The only thing you should be doing while driving is focusing on the road ahead. Taking pictures or video takes your focus off the road,” said AAA Texas/New Mexico Representative Doug Shupe. “Hundreds of thousands of people are injured and killed each year as a result of distracted driving and these injuries and deaths are entirely preventable. Put the camera down and wait until you arrive at a safe destination. Don’t let a driving selfie or video be the last photo you ever take.”
According to a news release sent out by AAA Texas, Twitter allows a maximum of six seconds of video while Instagram allows a maximum of 15 seconds. Traveling at a speed of 60 mph, a driver taking a photo for approximately two seconds takes their eyes off of the road for 176 feet which is the length of nearly two basketball courts, over half a soccer field, or nearly half a football field.
A driver taking a six-second video is not paying full attention to driving for a total of 528 feet which is equivalent to more than five and a half basketball court lengths, nearly two soccer fields, and one and a half football fields.
A driver taking a video that’s 15 seconds long is not paying full attention to the road for a total of 1,320 feet which equals the length of 14 basketball courts, almost four and a half soccer fields, or nearly four football fields.