Selfies can lead to serious accidents, injuries and death

Taking selfies while driving is a distractive behavior that can increase the risk of car accidents, injuries and death.

North Carolina drivers have been found doing a multitude of tasks while behind the wheel, including texting, eating, drinking and applying makeup. Although the state has outlawed texting while driving, motorists continue to use their cellphones to engage in other things, like taking selfies. The trend of posting selfies to popular social media websites is in full force, and these self-portraits include drivers. Posting selfies while driving can lead to serious car accidents, catastrophic injuries and even death.

This is what happened to a 32-year-old Clemmons, North Carolina, woman who was taking selfies and posting them to her social media profile while driving. According to the Huffington Post, local law enforcement officers received word of the wreck approximately one minute after the woman posted a Facebook update. The woman died in the accident.

Types of driver distractions

Taking selfies and posting status updates are especially dangerous behaviors for drivers to perform because they involve all three types of driver distractions. Distraction.gov, the U.S. government's official website dedicated to distracted driving, lists the following types of distractions:

  • Cognitive: Tasks that take the driver's concentration off of driving, including composing a text and engaging in a conversation.
  • Manual: Activities that require the driver to remove his or her hands from the steering wheel, including posting a status update, positioning a cellphone and texting.
  • Visual: Tasks where the driver takes his or her eyes off of the road, such as looking at a cellphone while texting, reading an email or posing for a selfie.

When taking a selfie, drivers must take their hands off of the steering wheel, get the camera ready and position the cellphone. They also have to take their eyes off the road to pose for the camera and push the right buttons. Mentally, motorists who are taking selfies are not prepared to respond to dangerous driving hazards, such as objects in the road, bad weather conditions, pedestrians and other vehicles.

Selfies can be dangerous

More than 3,300 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2012, according to Distraction.gov. Furthermore, approximately 421,000 people were injured in similar incidents. These injuries, including traumatic brain injury, paralysis, loss of limbs and broken bones, can be life-changing. Yet, many people find it hard to pass up the ding of an incoming text message or the perfect selfie opportunity, despite the risk of cognitive distraction.

When to find an attorney

Not only do distracted drivers endanger their own lives, but they endanger the lives of everyone on the road. Injured victims of a distracted driving car accident may be eligible for compensation for their injuries, property damage, emotional trauma and lost wages from work. An attorney in North Carolina may be able to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.

Keywords: distracted, driving, accident, injury