Search the hashtag #drivingselfie on Instagram, and you will currently find over 3,800 self-portraits or "selfies" snapped by drivers behind the wheel of a car. There are nearly 2,000 more photos bearing the hashtag #drivingselfies, and thousands of others with various driving related hashtags like, #drivinghome, #drivingtowork, and even #drivinglikeaboss.
The predominantly young drivers depicted in these "selfies" take the photos on their smartphone cameras, edit them using various filters, then upload them to their favorite social network, all while operating a vehicle. Considering that texting and driving kills 11 teens each day, this new wave of distracted driving has many highway safety advocates concerned.
The advocates assert that photographing yourself while driving a 2,000-pound vehicle down the road puts your life in danger, as well as the lives of those around you. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers.
In 41 states and Washington D.C. texting while driving is illegal. If a driver gets caught texting while driving, which includes taking "selfies," they can receive a traffic violation and fines. Safety experts maintain that taking a photo may take only a matter of seconds, but when a vehicle is in motion that is enough time to cause a serious accident.