Streaming while driving – why it’s so dangerous
Video content is king. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and boasts more than 3 billion searches a month. Without a doubt we live in a world utterly obsessed with online video. Personally, I know that these days I probably spend more of my free time consuming video content on YouTube than I do actually watching television. This is somewhat of a scary thought because I only became aware of the fact quite recently. It’s so accessible and you can find such a huge variety of content online relatively quickly, I think that has contributed to the rise of digital content.
Last year, eMarketer reported that adults in the US spend an average of over 5 hours a day consuming video, which I can believe. I use YouTube myself on a daily basis and there are a few channels I’ve subscribed to purely because I love the content that’s put out on those channels. I can quite happily sit at home and watch a video on my iPhone, and I make sure I listen to music on YouTube each morning when I go to work. This actually acts like digital coffee and wakes me up during the commute.
So the idea that people spend this much time with online videos doesn’t surprise me, it’s just people streaming on their phones while driving that worries me. This is a horrendously dangerous act that’s just as bad, if not worse than talking on the phone while behind the wheel. I must admit, I’ve seen some of my favourite YouTubers record themselves talking to the camera during activities such as cooking, and yes, even driving. It does make me cringe because it’s simply not a good place to do something like that. You see them look at the camera, and if they’re looking at the camera then that means their eyes can’t possibly be on the road.
It’s potentially the most dangerous distraction out there because it’s so engrossing. When you’re watching a video, your eyes are glued to the device and you only have to walk down the street to see people who just can’t take their eyes off their phones. It’s a recipe for disaster. I think our generation is fairly self-obsessed and social media, as well as videos contribute to this enormously. Now anyone can become an internet celebrity provided they get their voice heard enough. People are resorting to recording videos and taking selfies at any moment, being behind the wheel isn’t an issue for some people and that’s a problem. Even celebrities get it wrong, and Lewis Hamilton recently found himself in hot water after taking a selfie while riding a motorcycle, then uploading it to Snapchat.
So yes, video content is amazing and we all love it. However, we need to keep in mind that there’s a time and a place to enjoy it and that’s certainly not when you’re driving a car. It’s no different to watching television or playing a video game while attempting to drive, and you wouldn’t do that would you?