Young drivers are increasingly using social networks and taking ‘selfies’ while driving, endangering their own or other motorists’ lives, new research suggests.
Insurance experts Confused.com surveyed 2,000 drivers and 9 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 admitted to using photo-messaging app Snapchat when driving.
Twitter was accessed by 8 per cent of these young drivers and Instagram by 5 per cent. Around 7 per cent of motorists surveyed across all age groups admitted to taking a ‘selfie’ while in the driver’s seat.
Worryingly, over 10,000 ‘selfies’ taken behind the wheel have been uploaded to Instagram since it launched in 2010 and are often tagged with #DrivingSelfie or #DrivingSelfies. These are also accompanied with other hashtags like #bored, #dangerous, #LuckyWeDidntCrash, #safedriver and #LookMaNoHands.
The Oxford Dictionary crowned ‘selfie’ the 2013 word of the year and the term often refers to taking a photograph of yourself with a smartphone or webcam before uploading it to a social media website.
More than a third of all the 2,000 motorists surveyed said they used their phone when driving, whilst 9 per cent have suffered an accident as a result. Fines for using a mobile device while driving increased from £60 to £100 last year, but many drivers still disregard this. Around one in 10 surveyed admitted to being caught by police, but 57 per cent still committed the same offence afterwards.
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