While it may not yet be clear how much of an impact California’s anti-distracted driving law has had on traffic safety, one would think that it would at least make using your phone while driving a shameful act. Something that offenders do as secretly as possible, to avoid a ticket from the police and the derision of friends and family who take seriously their duty to drive safely.
But many chronically distracted drivers actually like to brag about their negligence. On Instagram, there is a hashtag called #drivingselfie. Searching for that hashtag through the app or website leads you to a long list of pictures of motorists posing for selfies behind the wheel. As if they are actually want to memorialize their reckless and selfish desire to endanger the lives of everyone else on the road.
Sadly, California has the dubious “honor” of posting more driving selfies to Instagram than any other state. Laist.com reports that even when controlling for population, Californians post at the highest rate in the U.S., with 2.53 posts per 100,000 residents.
Nevada is just behind at 2.52 #drivingselfie posts per 100,000 residents. Florida and Hawai’i are not far behind, but then the rate begins to drop significantly. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, Mississippians post to the hashtag the least often, with just 0.20 posts per 100,000 people.
Perhaps it is not surprising that people who do not take safe driving seriously are also narcissistic enough to put evidence of their negligent driving on the internet. No doubt, sooner or later an Instagram photo tagged #drivingselfie will end up as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit.