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Selfies are the new texting, new car accident risk

Many people have discovered new social media outlets that let people express themselves more visually than with words. However, these new forms of social media have become extremely mobile, some of them are even exclusively applications for mobile phones.

This is bringing a new hazard to the roadways of West Virginia and across the country. Many people are now taking pictures of themselves, also called "selfies," while driving down the road, to send to friends and post to social media. While texting is still a rampant problem for drivers, taking a picture and taking time to upload it can result in a person taking their eyes off the road for a much longer period of time.

According to a report on the new "selfie" trend, a person taking their eyes off the road for just two seconds can double their risk of being involved in a car accident. Now, imagine how long a person would have to take their eyes off the road to open their camera on their phone, snap a picture of themselves, and upload it to a social media app or send it to half a dozen friends.

This danger could result in many more accident, leading to injury or even death in West Virginia. People who text, call or take pictures while driving might be considered negligent if they cause injuries to another person. Sending a message or uploading a picture while driving isn't worth the risk of injuring someone. Drivers should focus on the road and put their phones out of reach if needed to avoid being distracted.

Source:  NBC News, "Friends don't let idiots snap selfies while driving" Helen A.S. Popkin, Nov. 19, 2013

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