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Will the state police crack down on taking selfies while driving?

In a prior post, we warned readers that the Arizona Department of Public Safety will be making distracted driving enforcement a priority. The announcement came in the wake of a state patrol officer who was killed by a truck driver who was viewing images of scantily-clad women on his phone before causing an accident.

Indeed, distracted driving (either through texting while driving or talking on cell phones) has generated considerable backlash by the public, but there are still people who belie the danger that comes with using a phone in that fashion. 

Additionally, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that more people are taking “selfies” (self-portraits taken with a cell phone) while driving. The growing popularity is being realized by safety analysts as a burgeoning epidemic, with the suggestive hastags (#drivingfast, #latetowork, #lovemycar) leading the way.

While Arizona does not specifically have legislation banning selfies while driving, it does not prevent law enforcement from taking action against distracted drivers. After all, there is a substantial public safety risk that comes with distracted driving and law enforcement has a vested interest in making sure that fewer distracted driving incidents occur.

From a personal injury standpoint, a driver charged with a crime could face civil penalties as well. A criminal violation could serve as evidence that a driver breached the duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. If such a breach is proven to be the cause of a crash, the offending driver could be held liable. If you have questions about liability in distracted driving accidents, an experienced attorney can help. 

Source: NBC, “Friends don’t let idiots snap selfies while driving,” Helen A.S. Popkin, November 19, 2013

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