Dark side of the craze: Survey shows one-in-nine have taken selfie snap at the wheel

Selfie is a word that is new to many Britons after it exploded into the public’s collective consciousness last year – but the craze has caused new driving dangers.

According to a survey by insurer, one-in-nine drivers have taken a photo while they’re at the wheel of a car and the worst age group for doing it comes in the category of 18 – 24 year olds – who represent the majority of first time drivers in the UK.

Survey results reveal a dangerously high number of drivers taking photos when they should be concentrating on the task at hand.

The survey also found that one in 10 drivers had signed in to photo uploading app Snapchat while driving and have angered charities Brake and the Institute of Advanced Motorists who consider the practice of taking selfies while driving as reckless and risky.

It was named the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of 2013 and has slowly seeped into regular speech over the course of the year.

A selfie is defined in the dictionary as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

Some of the best selfies over the past year have been seen at events, such as the celeb-packed famous 2014 Oscars effort from Ellen DeGeneres, and with others taken in nightclubs, kitchens and perhaps, most bizarre of all, space.

These are all fun and innocent – but there is one place where the selfie should not stray and that is the driver’s seat of a car.

A spokeswoman for the charity Brake said that: “Using a phone in any way at the wheel dramatically increases the risk of crashing and killing or seriously injuring someone.”

Perhaps even more shocking is the statistic highlighted from the survey by, who revealed that more than a third of drivers surveyed have admitted to using their phone while driving.

An increase in how much drivers get fined for using their phone while driving (from £60 to £100) has had little impact.

Marketing Manager at Stephen Jury said: “Taking a ‘selfie’ whilst driving is incredibly dangerous – even more so than talking on the phone.

“Drivers have to line the camera up and, most likely, choose a suitable photograph before they upload it to social networks. The whole process is lengthily and extremely distracting.

“Not only is it putting the driver at risk, but also their passengers and other motorists.”

No-one wants the next selfie they take to be their last.  

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