Ford selfieA study by Ford has revealed that 33% of young drivers aged 18-24 has taken a picture of themselves behind the wheel – and Brits are taking more selfies than any other EU country.

Worrying stuff, particularly as further Ford research discovered a selfie could distract a driver for 14 seconds.

One in four youngsters also admitted to using social media behind the wheel, which could distract a driver for as much as 20 seconds. Ford surveyed 7000 smartphone users aged 18-24 across Europe for the research project: nearly all of them agreed using a smartphone behind the wheel was dangerous.

Ford did not, however, survey any other age groups. Whether 30-something Facebook fans or pensioners who tweet are just as guilty thus cannot be confirmed.

Ford: helping give Driving Skills for Life

The blue oval carried out the survey as part of its Driving Skills for Life initiative. This was set up to help address the fact car crashes are the leading cause of death for young drivers: Ford wants to counter this with hands-on training for thousands and online training for many more.

So far, Ford’s helped 100,000 young drivers improve their skills in the decade its Driving Skills for Life initiative has been running.

“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, Ford Driving Skills for Life manager.

“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.”

That’s why the ‘selfie test’ will become a part of the Driving Skills for Life training scheme: attendees will be asked to manoeuvre a car at slow speed – with an instructor sat next to them, marking them as they go…

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