In a perfect world, adults wouldn’t have to be told that snapping a selfie behind the wheel isn’t worth risking their lives, but apparently that’s not the case in New York. According to Gothamist, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles issued a statement on August 8 warning against the dangers of practicing your selfie game while driving.
The release followed a report from the Auto Insurance Center that named New Yorkers among the top 10 worst driving selfie offenders in the country. After sifting through 70,000 Instagram posts that included #DrivingSelfie, #SelfieWhileDriving, and #HopeIDontCrash, they calculated that 1.29 out of 100,000 New York drivers were guilty of using the hashtags. New York ranked eighth overall, with California, Nevada, and Florida leading the way in recklessness.
New York is one of 14 states that prohibits motorists from engaging in any cell phone-related activity, not just selfie-taking, while behind the wheel. Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and GTSC Acting Chair, said in the department's statement:
"Smartphones can provide nearly limitless entertainment, but activities like taking selfies while driving are just irresponsible … Whether it’s answering a short text, making a quick phone call, taking a photo, or catching Pokémon, it’s never a good idea to be distracted while driving. Keep your eyes on the road and put the phone down—it can wait!"
If those words of warning aren’t enough to change the habits of some drivers, a new law may do the trick. Earlier in the year a group of New York lobbyists introduced a bill that would make screening a driver’s cell phone for recent usage mandatory after a crash.
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