Young British drivers are the most likely to take a 'selfie' while at the wheel, research by Ford has revealed.
The manufacturer has found that snapping a 'selfie' while driving could distract a driver for 14 seconds, and checking social media distracts for as much as 20 seconds long enough, at 60mph, to travel the length of five football pitches.
To help prevent drivers being distracted by their mobile phones, Ford is expanding its free and acclaimed Driving Skills for Life programme across the UK.
This will include Glasgow, from September 18 to 20, followed by Gaydon, Warwickshire, on October 4 and 5, and Chobham, Surrey, from October 7 to 9. The updated training programme will highlight the dangers of taking a 'selfie', plus other smartphone and social media activities, behind the wheel.
Jim Graham, Ford Driving Skills for Life manager, said: "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.
"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 USA 10 years ago and has provided hands-on training for 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 in the future, attendees will undertake slow speed manoeuvres while taking a 'selfie' on a closed facility with a professional instructor beside them. Expert guidance on the importance of early hazard recognition as well as good speed and space management are already features of the programme.
by: Danielle Bagnall