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Cellphone selfies: The latest form of driver distraction

A new form of driver distraction is sweeping the nation. A quick look on any social media site proves that many drivers in Tennessee and across the U.S. are doing more than just concentrating on the road while behind the wheel. A number of people, who are taking selfies and posting them on their social media pages, are putting the lives of innocent people at risk. Distraction.gov reported that 3,154 people were killed and 424,000 people were injured by distracted drivers in 2013. However, cellphone selfies may take deadly distractions to an entirely different level.

According to CNN News, a search for selfies that have been posted on social media sites, such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, brings up a surprising number of results. More than 9,700 selfies were found on Instragram under the hashtag #drivingtowork, and an additional 1,900 posts were listed under #drivingselfies. Interestingly enough, motor vehicle operators were not the only people found posting selfies while driving. Boat operators, pilots and motorcyclists were also caught snapping pictures while in precarious situations.

There are three main types of driver distraction, including manual, visual and cognitive distractions. Taking selfies requires drivers to not only remove their hands from the steering wheel, but to take their eyes off of the road for an extended period of time. Furthermore, drivers experience cognitive distraction when they are not focused on the road ahead. Whether a motorist is stopped at a traffic light or driving down the street, posing for a picture can have a catastrophic outcome. 

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