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Drivers today rarely even start the car without having their smart phone in hand, with each “ping” announcing a new message resulting in an immediate distraction.

As my readers know, I often write about the dangers of distracted driving. I thought I had discussed almost every conceivable distraction while behind the wheel – talking, texting, emailing, eating, drinking, putting on make-up, shaving, looking in the backseat, fiddling with the radio or GPS, even someone dusting their car. I truly thought – “There can’t be any other crazy ideas to distract people from driving?” Now, I’m hearing more and more about a new trend, especially among teen drivers. Selfies!

For any of my readers not familiar with selfies, it is the term for taking a photo of yourself with a smartphone, usually using a front-facing camera. Yes, there are people dumb enough to be taking pictures of themselves while they are driving their car at high speeds on the road. To add to the danger, they proceed to post the photo on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In fact, a simple search on Instrgram and Twitter, quickly revealed thousands of selfies taken while driving. Some will post with a hashtag such as #ihopeidontcrash. They know the risk; they publicly announce they know the risk, but selfies continue to show up on social media sites at alarming rates. It’s videos, too. And, this trend isn’t limited to cars. Reports show that a 2014 fatal plane crash was due to the pilot and a passenger taking selfies.

AAA’s research shows taking a photo for two seconds while driving means your eyes are off the road for nearly half a football field. Now, add the prep time – getting into pose, checking your hair, make-up, or facial expression, deciding the best angle and framing the shot. With six-second videos, drivers are distracted for the distance of up to nearly four football fields.

Save the call, text, email, burger and fries, even your selfie until you reach your destination.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.

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