Driving 'selfies' take distracted driving to whole new level

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - The latest fad of "selfies" is behind the wheel. Just type "#driving" into your computer or cell phone and you'll get more than three million Instagram pictures all taken by drivers distracted behind the wheel.

"It's just one more added challenge that drivers, parents and drivers-ed instructors have to deal with," Amy Elliot said.

Elliot owns Behind the Wheels Education, a driver's-ed company and has five kids of her own.

Her 18-year-old Ashley has been driving for two years and vows she hasn't fallen into temptation.

"No, never texted and driven at the same time," she said.

However, some of her friends have and that's scary enough.

"Because all of a sudden they aren't looking at the road anymore, they have one hand on the wheel maybe," Ashley said.

Just five seconds of distraction from the road can make a difference.

If a driver is traveling at a speed of 55 mph, that's equivalent to driving the distance of an entire football field while blindfolded.

"It's really a form of distracted driving, but you make each case individually," Gary Mason from the Overland Park Police Department said.

He said getting a ticket for this isn't too common.

"It's tough," Mason said.

There's a city ordinance in Overland Park against texting while driving, however, "selfies" don't necessarily fall into that category. Police could however pull you over if you are swerving because of it and cite you for inattentive driving.

In Missouri, it's illegal for anyone under 21 to text and drive. Ashley said she owes her self-control for texting and driving to her parents.

"They've taught me well," she said. 

Let's just say some pictures aren't worth taking

Print this article Back to Top