We have repeatedly covered the national texting while driving epidemic, highlighting the huge public safety concern that it presents. Some research has found that those who text behind the wheel can travel some 100 300 yards — the length of a football field — without looking at the road.
But Stacey Higginbotham of Gigaom has pointed out something perhaps even worse: taking photos while driving.
Everyone talks about texting while driving, but what about something I think may be even more distracting: “snapping while driving,” as in taking photographs? In the last few weeks, I’ve twice been behind cars (a truck in one case) whose drivers have whipped out smartphones and taken pictures while at a light or stop sign. Austin is a picturesque city, but I was still surprised to look over on my way to an event on Wednesday evening and see the driver to my right aiming a camera phone at her right, while in moving traffic.
The photographic proof is all over the web, with my colleague Kevin sending me evidence of his own guilt on this matter. From pictures of rainbows taken while driving to photos of famous landmarks, I have to ask why people take such a risk.
Be sure to pull over and turn off the car before taking photos.