Young British drivers have been named as some of the most dangerous in Europe as a third have admitted to taking a “selfie” while behind the wheel.
As much as 33 per cent of people between the ages of 18 and 25 confessed to taking a selfie while driving, according to a survey by the Ford Motor Company.
The research showed that British-selfie enthusiasts were the worst out of six European countries, beating France and Germany, where 28 per cent of people admitted to the dangerous behaviour; Romania, where 27 per cent admitted to it; Italy, with 26 per cent; Spain, with 18 per cent and Belgium with 17 per cent.
In addition to taking pictures of themselves, a quarter of the young drivers said they had used social media sites while behind the wheel. Male drivers were worst for this habit.
According to the study of 7,000 people across Europe, which was carried out for Ford’s Driving Skills for Life programme, taking a selfie behind the wheel can actually take a driver 14 seconds to carry out, while checking social media can distract people for 20 seconds at a time.
If this happens while a car is going at 60 mph, it means travelling the length of five football pitches.
In April a woman was killed in a head-on collision on a US highway moments after she posted a number of photos of herself onto Facebook and updated her status with the words “The happy song makes me so HAPPY.”
“It’s 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,” Jim Graham, manager of the Driving Skills for Life programme, 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," he added.