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1 in 4 young drivers take a selfie while driving

Ford of Europe research for its Driving Skills for Life programme has revealed that 1 in 4 young drivers take a selfie while driving.

EVER TAKEN A PHOTO of yourself while driving? If you’re between the age of 18 and 24 there’s probably a fair chance that either you, or someone you know has. While there’s no Australian-based research, a Ford of Europe survey of 7000 young drivers (between 18-24) has found that one in four European youngsters has taken a photo of themselves while driving.

According to the survey, British drivers were the most likely to photograph themselves (a ‘selfie’) while on the move (33%), ahead of counterparts in Germany (28%), France (28%), Romania (27%), Italy (26%), Spain (18%), and Belgium (17%).

The survey of 7000 smartphone users aged 18-24 from across Europe also showed one in four people had used social media sites behind the wheel; and that young male drivers were the most likely to ignore the risks. Nearly all drivers surveyed agreed the activities were dangerous.

Ford has found that snapping a ‘selfie’ at the wheel could distract a driver for 14sec, and checking social media distracts for as much as 20sec – long enough, at 96km/h, to travel the length of five football pitches.

Here in Australia young drivers (17-25) represent one-quarter of all Australian road deaths, but are only 10 – 15% of the licensed driver population, while a 17-year-old driver with a P1 licence is four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a driver over 26 years.

The survey is part of the Blue Oval’s Ford Driving Skills for Life initiative that launched more than 10 years ago in the US – it has since rolled out around the world and provided hands-on training for more than 100,000 young drivers.

“Taking a ‘selfie’ has for many young people quickly become an integral part of everyday life – but it’s the last thing you should be doing behind the wheel of a car,” said Jim Graham, Ford Driving Skills for Life manager.

“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.”

As a result of its survey, Ford has said it will tweak its training and attendees in the future will undertake slow speed manoeuvres while taking a ‘selfie’ on a closed facility with a professional instructor beside them at the wheel.

Sounds like a great idea … Ford Australia, what do you reckon?

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober