The ‘selfie’ craze that has consumed Generation Y is now leading to young drivers taking dangerous pictures of themselves behind the wheel, new research has revealed.

A survey by insurance website found over 10,000 driver selfies had been uploaded onto social networking sites since 2010. This trend is causing an increasing number of preventable accidents, which will naturally impact on the young drivers’ car insurance policies; anyone found guilty of damaging theirs or another driver's vehicle for such a reason can expect to see their premium rise substantially.

The study of 2,000 drivers revealed that nine per cent of drivers between 18 and 24 used photo-messaging app Snapchat while driving. Of that same group, eight per cent said they used Twitter and five per cent admitted to using Instagram.

Across all age groups, seven per cent of the surveyed motorists stated that they had taken a selfie while behind the wheel. Over a third of all drivers admitted to using their phone in the driver’s seat, with nine per cent suffering an accident while doing so. Even though the penalty for doing so was increased from £60 to £100 last year, around one in 10 said they had been caught by police while on their phones. However, of these people, 57 per cent said they still did it afterwards.

Since the results were announced last week, the practice of taking selfies while driving has been condemned as recklessly risky and selfish by leading road safety charities Brake and IAM. Brake spokeswoman Laura Woods said: “Using a phone in any way at the wheel dramatically increases the risk of crashing and killing or seriously injuring someone.

“It is very worrying to see the numbers of drivers engaging in this dangerous behaviour, particularly younger drivers who are already at higher risk of crashing due to their age and inexperience.”

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