It should go without saying, but please do not take selfies while driving. In fact, don’t take any photos while driving. It’s not safe and you don’t want to be that guy posting sunsets while sitting in traffic or showing people how great your makeup looks today or thinking about how #blessed you are for your coffee.
On behalf of the driver looking through the window next to you, don’t do it.
Interacting with passengers might be the most dangerous thing we do while driving, but that doesn’t make checking your phone, and taking pictures with your phone, a good idea. It’s a horrible idea.
We use our phones a lot when we drive, and at any given moment during daylight hours, 660,000 are using their cellphones behind the wheel, according to the Auto Insurance Center. Four in 10 of those drivers are using social media, and 14 percent of them are checking Instagram.
So that means, between the hours of 7 a.m., and 7 p.m., almost 37,000 drivers are on Instagram at any given second.
And they’re posting in the car pretty frequently.
On average, 22 of every 100,000 Instagram posts nationally are uploaded while driving. And almost 4 percent of those -- about 1 of every 22 posts -- are driving selfies.
And in the states that take the most driving selfies…
… a lot of them have also banned cellphone use while behind the wheel.
And even more, Instagram users tacitly encourage people to take more #driving photos, because those images get a ton of “likes.” The average #driving post in Hawaii, for example gets nearly 5,500 likes.
So what's the impact of all those likes? We may be posting even more while in the car. The Auto Insurance Center analyzed data from 2011 through April 2016, and found that Americans have posted way more, almost 10,000 more, #driving Instagram pictures than at this point last year.
The moral of the story -- looking at you, Hawaii and California -- do not take selfies while driving. Don't do it. Don't think about doing it. Don't debate doing it. Don't contemplate doing it.
But don't just take my word for it.
"It's incredibly dangerous," said Chelsea Freeburn, a spokesperson for the Auto Insurance Center.
Even the hashtags the Insurance Center tracked sound dangerous. If you ever have to type, "#ihopeidontcrash" or "#hopeidontcrash," maybe you should reevaluate your present activity.
So please, on behalf of the guy in the car next to you, don't take selfies while driving. They're dangerous. They're stupid. They're not worth the likes or internet fame.