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Selfies: A form of distracted driving

If you use your phone while driving in Los Angeles, you are not alone. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 660,000 motorists use their cellphones at any given moment of the day. Although talking or texting on a cellphone while driving is prohibited in California, it still occurs. It does not stop there, however. Drivers who take selfies while behind the wheel may cause a catastrophic car accident, putting their lives and the lives of others at risk.

There are three forms of distraction, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Manual distractions occur when drivers removed their hands from the steering wheel to engage in a task, while visual distractions involve drivers taking their eyes off the road. Cognitive distractions occur when a driver is no longer concentrating on the road, but on something else. Taking a selfie while driving involves all three distractions. Drivers take their hands off the wheel to get their cellphone ready and positioned perfectly for a photo. They also take their eyes off the road to pose for the picture or to look through prompts. Finally, people cannot fully focus on the road when they are concentrating on taking a selfie and posting it to social media.

Yet many do. A look at popular social media sites shows more than 3,700 posts on Instagram under #drivingselfie and 1,800 under #drivingselfies. Surprisingly, there are more than 9,700 posts under #drivingtowork. The same shows on Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. Drivers are encouraged to put their phones down while driving in order to stay safe on the road.

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