As you made your way to work, school or the store this past week, chances are very good that you observed an innumerable number of fellow motorists talking on their cellphones, seemingly oblivious to their surroundings, or perhaps worse, exhibiting the telltale signs of texting and driving, including rapid glances into their lap.
The disturbing reality is that despite everything we now know about the dangers of distracted driving, motorists readily engage in this conduct. Indeed, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that at any given time there are as many as 660,000 motorists using their cellphones during daylight hours across the U.S.
As shocking as this is, consider that these motorists aren't just talking or even texting, they are also surfing the internet, playing games and, perhaps most strangely of all, taking photos or videos of themselves while behind the wheel.
Interestingly enough, one insurance news site recently set out to determine where and when this latter dangerous driving habit is the most prevalent.
After examining more than 70,000 Instagram posts with hashtags like #DrivingSelfie and #IHopeIDontCrash, they made the following findings:
- States with the most #DrivingSelfies per 100,000 residents included California (2.53), Nevada (2.52), Florida (2.38), Hawaii (2.17) and Vermont (1.76).
- States with the least #DrivingSelfies per 100,000 residents included Mississippi (.20), Oklahoma (.30), Ohio (.31), Indiana (.33) and Indiana (.36).
- Instagram posts with driving-related hashtags are most popular on the weekends, and spiked from January through March
(It's worth noting that Kentucky was in the middle of the pack for driving selfies.)
When these numbers are cross-referenced with statistics from the NHTSA about the age groups most likely to engage in distracted driving, it shows, perhaps not surprisingly, that motorists aged 20-29 are the most likely to take photos or videos of themselves while driving. However, what is surprisingly, is that motorists aged 15-19 were actually the third most likely to engage in this behavior, trailing motorists aged 30-39.
Here's hoping that this latest report serves as a wakeup call to motorists to keep their phones off or, at the very least, to stop engaging in this especially irresponsible and reckless practice.
If you've been seriously injured or lost a loved one owing to the reckless actions of another, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your rights and your options.