Selfies & Safety: AAA Warns About Latest Trend In Distracted Driving

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A warning about a dangerous new trend on Maryland roads: people taking cell phone photos and even videos behind the wheel! These so-called “driving selfies” can distract drivers just long enough to be deadly.

Kai Jackson explains.

It seems like many people can’t live without their technology. AAA Mid-Atlantic says if drivers don’t stop a dangerous behavior behind the wheel, they may not be living at all.

A text, a Tweet, a call or a picture. Our mobile phones seem to be an extension of us but these simple electronic actions can be deadly when behind the wheel of a vehicle.

“We’re gonna discourage that. As Maryland State Police, we discourage any operation like that because it’s dangerous. It could hurt those people, as well as anyone that could be on the roadway,” said Marc Black, Maryland State Police.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says a growing and dangerous trend is taking place behind the wheel.

“I’ve been unfortunate enough to have been a passenger in a wreck and it was caused by people not paying attention,” said Thomas Rumley.

Drivers, many of them young people, are taking “selfies,” or pictures of themselves. These pictures and even video are all taken while the vehicle is moving.

“[My parents] would definitely be angry with me, take away the keys to the car, something like that,” said college student Lauryn Capers.

AAA is encouraging drivers to put those mobile phones down, saying don’t let that selfie be the last one you ever take.

Experts say at 60 miles an hour, if you take your eyes off the road for just six seconds, your vehicle travels the length of one and a half football fields.

“Eyes off the road for any amount of time is not safe. So whether it’s checking a text, sending a text, looking at a photo…whatever it is, it’s just not safe,” said Ayisha Ashegbola.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says distracted driving isn’t just mobile phone use, it’s anything that takes a driver’s attention away from driving.

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