One in four European youths have snapped a selfie while driving

8 Aug 2014

Just don't do this behind the wheel

One in four 18-24-year-olds in Europe have taken a ‘selfie’ while driving, with British drivers the most likely (at 33pc) to snap a self-portrait with their smartphone while behind the wheel, a new survey suggests.

German and French drivers (both at 28pc) are the next most likely to snap a selfie while driving, followed by drivers in Romania (at 27pc), Italy (26pc), Spain (18pc), and Belgium (17pc).

The Ford-sponsored survey of 7,000 18-24-year-old smartphone users across Europe also found one in four people have used social media sites while behind the wheel, and that young male drivers are the most likely to ignore the risks.

Yet, nearly all the youths surveyed agreed such activities are dangerous.

Ford has found that snapping a selfie at the wheel can distract a driver for 14 seconds, and checking social media channels can distract a driver for 20 seconds. This is long enough for a car travelling at 100 km/h (62 m/ph) to cover the length of five football pitches.

Jim Graham, manager of the Ford Driving Skills for Life programme, acknowledges that snapping a selfie on a smartphone has become an integral part of daily life for many young people.

“But it’s the last thing you should be doing behind the wheel of a car,” said Graham. “It is deeply worrying that so many young drivers admit to taking a photo while driving and we will be doing all we can to highlight the potential dangers through driver education.”

Group selfie image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic