Drivers take "selfies" to a dangerous new level - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Drivers take "selfies" to a dangerous new level

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PHOENIX -

It's called a "Selfie" -- a picture that you take of yourself on your cell phone.  Everyone has done it, but some are taking selfies to a dangerous new level -- taking the pictures while driving.

Drivers do a lot of distracting things behind the wheel: eating, talking on the phone, putting on makeup..

And now, a lot of people, especially young people, are taking selfies while driving.

First, I just want to point out, in the video, I am not driving.  My photographer was behind the wheel.  Meanwhile, I had two hand on an iPad while shooting a segment for FOX 10.

Unfortunately, this isn't the scenario for many people, who take selfies while driving and you can just imagine how dangerous that can be, especially if you're in the path of a driver who's looking at herself instead of the road.

Kendall Jenner, a reality television show personality, posted a video online of herself, driving while taking a selfie.  It's a dangerous trend that some thousands of people do every day -- posting these shots of themselves driving on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram.

The drivers may be all smiles, but police are frowning upon this type of self portrait taking.

"When you look at that, her eyes are off the roadway, she's not paying attention to what she's supposed to be doing.  Again, she's in a vehicle.. several ton vehicle," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos.

It's an accident waiting to happen.

Police say if you're driving 40mph, you're going 60 feet a second, so even if you think it only takes a couple seconds to shoot a selfie, that's 120 feet -- your eyes are not on the road.

If you're anything like me, it takes a lot longer than two seconds to shoot a decent selfie -- you want to get the right angle, the right lighting, no showing chin fat, make sure you're not photo bombed and while you're doing all this, you got two eyes on yourself, one hand on your phone, one hand on the wheel and no eyes on the road.

Why do drivers do this?  Some readily admit it's all about vanity.

"You know, it's risk and reward," said Will Goodnow.

What's the reward?

"Looking good and letting people see how good you look," he said.

What's the allure?

Kevin Williams and Jessica Mendoza say, "Probably because we're a little conceited.. we want to feel good about ourselves.. yeah, usually it's in the morning and you look good in the morning and you wanna text somebody look how cute I am."

Luckily, not all young drivers put looking cute before safe driving.

"You're risking your life.. just because you look cute one day, you should take it before you drive, so you look cute another day," said Mendoza.

In Phoenix, there is a law against texting and driving and under certain circumstances, you can get ticketed if you're caught taking a selfie while driving.  But police point out, why put your life, or someone else's life at risk, all because you want to take and send a good picture?  Your priority should be being a good driver.

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