Social Media and Driving: A Bad Mix

The age of social media has given us many things: countless selfies, superficial relationships – and infinite ways of expressing insight, creativity and sheer stupidity.

Case in point: we now have precise ways of tracking and chronicling the many things people are doing while driving, when they should be paying attention to the road.

Erie Insurance is marking Distracted Driving Awareness Month by releasing the findings of a recent study of driver behavior.

The company compiled social media data to gain insight into what drivers are doing behind the wheel.

Specifically, Erie analyzed Twitter and Instagram posts that came from mobile devices and used the popular hashtag #whiledriving.

As the company put it, in a release, “The top five hashtags used in tandem with #whiledriving included clouds, sunset, sky, nature and sun, strongly suggesting that people are snapping pictures of beautiful scenery and posting them to social media, while at the same time operating their vehicles.”

The ERIE hashtag analysis also found that men were more likely to be double distracted than women, with 55% of #whiledriving posts coming from men, and 45% from women.

According to Erie, the top 10 hashtags used in conjunction with #whiledriving were:

  1. Clouds
  2. Sunset
  3. Sky
  4. Nature
  5. Sun
  6. Nofilter
  7. Landscape
  8. Car
  9. Driving
  10. Selfie

The top U.S. states with the most posts using #whiledriving were:

  1. California
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. South Carolina
  5. New York
  6. Illinois
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Oregon
  9. Colorado
  10. Nevada

Are you guilty of this form of social stupidity? Keep in mind that numerous studies have shown that distracted drivers are nearly as dangerous to themselves and others as drunk drivers.

If you want proof, just google up some pics and video taken by people right as they crashed into something, (or somebody). It’s out there.

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