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Selfies while driving a growing hazard among young drivers

On behalf of Terence Gross of Gross & Schuster, P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, December 26, 2013.

Drivers in Florida have enough to contend with during the holidays. Between tourists coming from the north, heavier volumes of traffic and drivers who may be annoyed or impaired, driving in Florida is certainly no easy task. With Christmas just passing, it is likely that a new legion of cell phone users may also be on the road. Indeed, distracted driving (i.e. texting while driving) is a national issue. However a new concern is arising with cell phone users.

Essentially, more drivers are taking selfies (self-portraits) with cell phones while driving. The American Automobile Association (AAA) noticed that a growing number of these pictures are showing up on social media outlets.  There are no hard statistics on whether “selfies while driving” have led to additional accidents, the specter of additional crashes have raised concerns among safety analysts.

The growing fad has its legal implications. Florida drivers have an obligation to use reasonable care while driving, meaning that they must refrain from engaging in distracting behaviors that put other drivers at risk. If a driver is texting while driving or taking selfies while driving down a highway, such a driver could be held liable if an accident occurs. This means that people injured in such an accident could seek compensation for injuries stemming from the crash.

The novelty of a new cell phone can lead to drivers (particularly teenagers) to use them without appreciating the dangers that they can bring. Parents of young drivers must be vigilant in reminding their children that they should not take pictures of themselves while driving.

Source: NBC, “Friends don’t let idiots snap selfies while driving,” Helen A.S. Popkin, November 19, 2013

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