Taking selfie while driving

Young drivers in Britain are more likely to snap a selfie while driving than their peers in other European countries, a new report has discovered.

Researched sponsored by Ford has found that 33 per cent of young British drivers had taken a selfie while on the move, compared to 28 per cent in Germany and France.

Only 18 per cent of young Spanish drivers admitted to taking a selfie behind the wheel, while the figure for Belgian youths was even lower at 17 per cent.

One in four drivers across Europe also admitted to checking social media sites or posting an update while driving. The research also found that men were more likely to use a smartphone on the move than women.

Despite the high number of drivers using their phones while driving, nearly all recognised that the devices were an unnecessary risk when behind the wheel.

Ford claims that taking a selfie could typically distract a driver for 14 seconds, while checking social media could divert a driver's attention for up to 20 seconds – long enough for a car travelling at 60mph to cover the length of five football pitches.

"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, manager of Ford Driving Skills for Life.

"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."

Statistics show that car crashes are the leading cause of death for young people, with many crashes resulting from the driver being distracted. Consequently Ford has launched a driving skills programme for young drivers.

Ford's driver safety training aims to educate more than 5,000 young people and has now been updated to show the risks of taking photos while driving or checking social media sites. Ford will be taking this programme to Glasgow in mid-September and Warwickshire and Surrey in early October.

Ford's survey questioned 7,000 people aged between 18 and 24 years old across Europe.