Meg Thomson
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PSA: Stop Posting to Your Instagram and Snapchat Stories Behind the Wheel

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Distracted Driving

You’d think that after people nearly died behind the wheel using Snapchat’s speedometer feature, users would think twice about using social media apps behind the wheel. But apparently not.

Honestly, I probably see it every day. Not when I’m out on the road, but on my own feed.

I flip through Instagram and Snapchat stories daily, seeing what all of my friends are up to; nearly every single day I come across my own friends posting Instagram and Snapchat stories from behind the wheel. While I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt and claim they’re at a stop sign, the truth of the matter is that they’re not. And that’s terrifying for a couple of reasons.

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First, these people are my friends. And they’re your friends, too. More than 16 million Snapchat users have admitted to using the photo-sending app while operating a moving vehicle. These are people we care about putting their lives at risk behind the wheel to tell you they’re listening to a great song or they’re annoyed by all of the rush hour traffic. Whatever their reasoning may be, their taking one hell of a risk to keep you updated.

Second, they’re endangering everyone else on the road. Those friends that you love so much are risking the lives of the infant in the SUV to their left or the single father in the sedan they’re unknowingly driving a little too close behind.

The National Safety Council reports that distracted driving causes more than 1.3 million car accidents each year, and the numbers are rising. Laws are in place in many states, but distracted driving is often difficult thing for police to identify. But luckily, you can do something about it.

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I’d like to encourage everyone to say something to your friends and family members next time they share their behind-the-wheel adventures on social media. Their safety, and everyone else’s, is important, and they’re far more likely to listen to you than an ad on their TV. Whether they’re posting to Instagram or Snapchat Story doesn’t matter. What matters is that they’re putting their lives and the lives of others at risk for their own entertainment.

Sources: National Safety Council, Haridson & Cochran