Talking on the phone while driving isn't advisable, and texting while driving is downright dangerous. Considering those truths, the fact that we even need to point this out this is incredibly disturbing: taking "selfies" while behind the wheel is exceptionally stupid. But, it's a thing that a third of 18- to 24-year-old British drivers have copped to doing, according to a new study from Ford.

Ford, through its Driving Skills for Life program, surveyed 7,000 smartphone owners from across Europe, all aged between 18 and 24, and found that young British drivers were more likely to snap a selfie while behind the wheel than their counterparts in Germany, France, Romania, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

According to the study, the average selfie takes 14 seconds, which, while traveling at 60 miles per hour, is long enough to travel over the length of nearly four football fields (the Ford study uses soccer fields, but we translated it to football, because, you know, America). That's an extremely dangerous distance to not be focused on the road.

"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," Jim Graham, of Ford's Driving Skills for Life program said in a statement. "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."

If you're a driver in the UK – or anywhere for that matter – when you're behind the wheel, just put the phone down.

Scroll down for the press release from Ford, as well as a pair of short videos meant to highlight the danger of selfies while driving.

Show full PR text

Ford highlights the risks of using smartphones at the wheel as part of its national free driver training programme, Driving Skills for Life
A new Ford-sponsored survey showed that British drivers are the most likely to snap a so-called 'selfie' at the wheel (33 per cent), ahead of all other Europeans
The survey of 7,000 smartphone users aged 18-24 from across Europe also revealed that one in four have posted an update on social media or checked social media sites while driving

BRENTWOOD, Essex, 07 August, 2014 – Ford research for its acclaimed Driving Skills for Life programme has revealed that young Brit drivers are the most likely to take a 'selfie' while at the wheel.

According to the survey, British drivers were the most likely to photograph themselves (a 'selfie') while on the move (33 per cent), ahead of counterparts in Germany (28 per cent), France (28 per cent), Romania (27 per cent), Italy (26 per cent), Spain (18 per cent), and Belgium (17 per cent).

The survey of 7,000 smartphone users aged 18-24 from across Europe also showed one in four people had used social media sites behind the wheel; and that young male drivers were the most likely to ignore the risks. Nearly all drivers surveyed agreed the activities were dangerous.

Ford has found that snapping a 'selfie' at the wheel could distract a driver for 14sec, and checking social media distracts for as much as 20sec – long enough, at 60mph, to travel the length of five football pitches.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for young drivers and Ford last year introduced to Europe the award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life programme to provide hands-on training to more than 5,000 18-24-year-olds and online training for thousands more.

The company is now expanding its free Ford Driving Skills for Life programme across the UK ( to include Glasgow, home to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, on September 18-20, followed by Gaydon, Warwickshire, October 4-5 and Chobham, Surrey, October 7-9. The updated training programme will highlight the dangers of taking a "selfie" and other smartphone and social media activities behind the wheel.

"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."

Ford Driving Skills for Life was launched in the US 10 years ago and has provided hands-on training to more than 100,000 young drivers around the world. So far in Europe, the programme has been rolled out in the UK, Germany, France, Romania, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

As part of the training, attendees will in the future undertake slow speed manoeuvres while taking a 'selfie' on a closed facility with a professional instructor beside them at the wheel. Expert guidance also is provided in the importance of early hazard recognition, and good speed and space management.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 11 Months Ago

      Sick of people not taking driving seriously...
      My aunt was killed by a texting driver who plowed through a solid red light.
      And just a few days ago, a high school friend of mine was killed on her motorcycle when a driver messing with her ipad of all things, turned in front of her.

      Cars are 1-2 ton killing machines in the hands of a careless person. Distractions and a general lack of proper training lead me to believe we live in an increasingly dangerous era for motoring. Couple that with people (at least in the US) buying bigger and heavier cars to "protect themselves" without thinking of the damages they can cause someone else.

      Seriously people, when you're driving, you're DRIVING. Nothing else! Keep you eyes on the road unless you want to die or live with the regret of killing another innocent person.

        Humberto Yi
        • 11 Months Ago

        So sick of selfies...  God teens today drive me freaking nuts.  When we (maybe just me?) we're teens, we just drove around drunk or high...  Kids today...  Obligatory use of entitlement.  Entitled.  Entitling.

        Honestly, we all did some stupid shit as kids driving (especially the auto enthusiasts here!!), and if your telling me you didn't, you either didn't like cars, are full of crap, or maybe grew up during the late 80's I guess.  Kids/teens are basically stupid hormon driven sub species, we will either change the legal driving age to about 28, or always deal with the consequences of lost lives and ruined lives.  I would NEVER give my 16 yearold a loaded handgun, and walk away and say "don't do anything"...  But we do it every single day a million times with cars

          Basil Exposition
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Humberto Yi

          "God teens today drive me freaking nuts" said every adult since the dawn of time. 

          • 11 Months Ago
          @Humberto Yi

          What kills me is the extreme leniency we have on driver's training here in the US. Driver's Ed is not "required" anymore but it's just an option for an insurance break. That class should be mandatory if they expect anyone with half a brain to control a vehicle in a proper manner. WIth the way most of their parents drive, I'd feel very uncomfortable knowing that those teens are blindly taking on a huge responsibility like driving.

          Another problem is with the elderly. Bless their hearts, but most of them are just not fit for driving anymore. The DMV doesn't do a very good job at monitoring the mental and physical abilities of the elderly to ensure that they are safe to drive. It seems odd, but elderly drivers are about the same if not, more common than teen accidents. Although teen accidents tend to be more severe which is where most of the fear comes from.

        J W
        • 11 Months Ago

        Cars are two ton missiles that require very little education to be licensed to drive.  The selfies and videos while driving leave me speechless.

      • 11 Months Ago

      I see *lots* of people (especially young women) staring at their phones while driving.  What the h*ll is wrong with people?

        • 11 Months Ago

        They drive me crazy, always looking down, I see little old ladies on cell phones, youd think theyd be too old to understand them.  

      • 11 Months Ago

      A friend of mine who works for a state police department told me about a trend amongst teen drivers that's equally disturbing - they'll tape their phones right onto the center of the steering wheel so they can text while "keeping their hands on the wheel".

      I think you can all see where this is going.

      Needless to say he's witnessed firsthand the results of an accident where the airbag would likely have saved the kids life if it were not for the phone smashing them in the face at approximately 200mph.

      • 11 Months Ago
      Welcome to the world of 2014.  50% of this country is populated by a-hole, self absorbed narcissists, totally fixated on the pop culture.  Could not name the VP of the country to save their life but able to name the last 5 American Idol winners. Unfortunately, these people breed ,vote and drive.
        • 11 Months Ago

        50%???   You are underestimating the poplulace, my friend.  Add about 10-20 percentage points, and now we're talking...

      • 11 Months Ago

      And right after this, she rear-ended a truck, er, lorry.

      • 11 Months Ago
      I guess they're right next to the Russians with the dash cam.
      • 11 Months Ago

      carguy1701, that blond wig works on you.

      Avinash Machado
      • 11 Months Ago

      Disgusting behavior.

      • 11 Months Ago

      This is why we need self driving cars. -.-

      • 11 Months Ago
      Why? :-/
      • 11 Months Ago

      Young blonde woman using a Nexus 5. I cannot take this pic seriously.

      • 11 Months Ago

      I somehow doubt this.

      The demographic of those taking surverys wont be met by the broad spectrum of drivers.

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