One in 11 drivers have taken selfie while driving in past month

Updated: 
transportation and vehicle concept - man drinking coffee and using phone while driving the car

Nine per cent of motorists admit to taking a selfie while behind the wheel in the past month, new research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has discovered.

A worrying proportion of drivers own up to taking selfies, making video calls and even watching videos on their phones or tablets while on the move, the survey of 500 drivers commissioned this month reveals.

It's not just the youngest motorists on the road who are putting themselves at risk by fiddling with phones or tablets at the wheel – while 15 per cent of drivers aged 18 to 24 years old say they have taken a driving selfie in the past month, a substantial 19 per cent of 25 to 35-year-olds admit to selfie-taking.

Men are much more likely to take a snap of themselves, however, with 12 per cent of males owning up compared with just five per cent of women. Meanwhile, eight per cent of motorists said they had used a video-calling app while driving, including FaceTime and Skype, a figure which jumps to 16 per cent among the 18 to 24-year-old group.

Showing the danger of using a phone behind the wheel, an IAM study in 2012 found that being distracted by mobile devices made motorists more dangerous than those at the drink-drive limit or drivers on cannabis, with worse reaction times and poorer lane-keeping ability.

IAM chief executive officer, Sarah Sillars said: "Everyone knows how dangerous using a smartphone or tablet is while driving. That's why it's shocking to see new trends like taking selfies and making video calls becoming common practice.

"Safe driving is everyone's responsibility and more must be done to catch drivers using these devices dangerously by increasing the fines and points for smartphone and tablet use at the wheel – there is simply no excuse."