Study finds #whiledriving hashtag dangerously popular on social media

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SEATTLE – Here’s something you’ll immediately wish you didn’t know: Not only does the Instagram hashtag #whiledriving exist, it had 18,282 posts as of noon on Thursday.

A study from Erie Insurance took a close look at the hashtag, and found that the words most used in conjunction with it were clouds, sunset, sky, nature and sun – suggesting that people are snapping pictures of scenery while driving.

Although many of the photos on the hashtag are clearly taken by passengers, the hashtag #selfie was also in the top 10 most-used with #whiledriving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that distracted drivers caused accidents that killed 3,179 people and injured 431,000 in 2014 alone.

“The statistics about the dangers of distracted driving are alarming,” said Erie Insurance’s Doug  Smith. “So while it’s understandable to want to share a picturesque sky with your social media followers—imagine if it were the last one. It’s just not worth it. We hope our analysis helps drive that point home.”