Drivers risking lives to post selfies - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Drivers risking lives to post selfies

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's a snap decision,and one that could have serious consequences. Drivers taking "selfies" with their smartphones while in motion is a new form of distracted driving and safety advocates are not thrilled.

A recent study by the Auto Insurance Center found that nearly four in ten drivers who use smartphones are checking social media behind the wheel.

"It's absolutely terrifying. I think the stats are mind-boggling, as if we did not have enough to distract us," said Chelsea Freeburn, with the Auto Insurance Center.

The study also found that the use of driving hashtags increased 80-percent from 2014 to 2015. Californians post more driving selfies than any other state.

On Twitter and Instagram, people are snapping selfies behind the wheel with the hashtag #DrivingSelfie and #HopeIDontCrash.

"There's no reason to risk your life and those of others on the road or pedestrians just so you can post a photo of yourself," said Freeburn.

California Highway Patrol urges drivers to put down the phone and hold off on sending the selfie until they arrive at their destination.

"There's always going to be a new game, a new Candy Crush, Pokemon. There's always something new coming forward and it's just a matter of people trying to get off their devices while they're driving," said Officer Jake Sanchez.

CHP said putting down the phone is a decision that could save lives.

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