BUFFALO, N.Y. – It should be common sense: don’t selfie and drive.
Despite the obvious risks involved, many drivers are getting selfie-obsessed while behind the wheel – especially in New York.
The problem is so prevalent across Western New York that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles issued a new warning, hoping (at least) some drivers would hear them out and put the phone down.
The new advice comes from both the DMV and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee on the heels of a new report that named New York State as one of the top ten states with a selfie problem.
The report analyzed Instagram posts with the hashtag “#DrivingSelfies” and with 1.29 posts per 100,000 residents, New Yorkers love to selfie in their cars. In contrast, drivers in Arkansas are more camera-shy, posting at a rate of 0.40 per 100,000 residents.
A Buffalo car accident lawyer says distracted driving is now a factor in the majority of car crashes and those taking selfies behind the wheel not only jeopardize their own lives; they also put the lives of others in danger.
“Smartphones are some of the most dangerous items we find in the hands of some drivers in Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Texting and driving is illegal and those found guilty can face steep fines but for most, that won’t compare to the guilt, embarrassment and the costs associated with a car crash.”
New York State has laws in place that prohibit drivers from using smartphones at the wheel, but that hasn’t stopped them. According to some surveys, the majority of New York’s drivers admit to breaking this law on a regular basis. The problem is so prevalent that it isn’t the first time state officials have issued this type of warning.
Just last month, the DMV told drivers to put the phone down instead of playing the popular game, Pokemon Go.
“Smartphones can provide nearly limitless entertainment, but activities like taking selfies while driving are just irresponsible,” DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said in a statement. “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!”
Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes estimate about four in ten drivers regularly use apps while they’re driving, putting everyone in a risky position, including the other six drivers who put the phone away.
According to recent research, the majority of the distracted drivers on the road fall between the ages of 20 to 29
New York State laws prohibit drivers from using electronic devices while operating a car or truck. Illegal activity includes:
- Holding an electronic device
- Talking on a cell phone
- Writing, sending, reading, browsing, saving electronic data – this includes content e-mails, text messages and websites
- Viewing or taking pictures
- Playing handheld games
With several offices in Western New York, Cellino & Barnes promotes safe driving practices throughout the Buffalo-Niagara region. Their Buffalo car accident attorneys have helped thousands of clients obtain the best result possible after they were injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver.
Contact Us today for a free case evaluation.