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The dangers of using social media while driving

If you find yourself texting on your cellphone as you drive along in morning traffic or posting social media updates while navigating the roads throughout the day, you are not alone. At any given moment of the day, 660,000 American drivers are using electronic devices while behind the wheel, according to distraction.gov. Many are checking their social media notifications, posting updates, taking pics and responding to messages. Not only does this distracted driving lead to a significant number of serious car accidents, but it has led to many injuries and deaths as well.

Several stories have hit the media illustrating how dangerous social media applications can be to motorists who refuse to put their cellphones down. One girl posted a Facebook message and took a selfie just moments before she was killed in a catastrophic car accident. Another woman was using Snapchat’s speed filter to show how fast she was going, and inadvertently hit another vehicle while going 107 mph. The occupant of the vehicle she smashed now suffers from permanent brain damage.

These are not isolated incidents. Sadly, thousands of selfies across various social media sites show drivers, truckers and even pilots operating vehicles. In order to update a media post or take a selfie, drivers must take their hands off of the steering wheel and eyes off of the road. Once they get to the right place to post an update, they must position their phone to take a pic. All of these steps causes severe cognitive, manual and visual distractions to drivers who should be paying attention to the road. 

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