Around 7000 mobile phone users aged between 18 and 24 years took part in the survey, with the same figure of one-in-four revealing they check or update social media while on the move.
A ‘selfie’ usually refers to a photograph taken with a ‘regular’ camera or mobile phone, capturing the image of the camera’s user and perhaps others as they hold the lens at arm’s length from their face.
The survey - part of Ford’s Driving Skills for Life program - suggests selfies have joined the growing list of driver distractions alongside messaging, taking calls and using social media while on the move.
Driver distraction is a relatively new focus for law enforcers and road safety advocates, believed to pose a threat to road-user safety comparable to drink driving.
The UK was the most selfie-obsessed nation with 33 percent of respondents admitting to the practice, followed by Germany, France (both 28 percent) and Romania (27 percent), while Belgium had the lowest score at 17 percent.
Almost all of the 7000 respondents agreed the activity was dangerous, with young male drivers the most likely to take selfies regardless.
Ford estimates a selfie could distract a driver for up to 14 seconds; or long enough while travelling at 60 MPH (96km/h) to cover almost five soccer pitches in distance.
The carmaker has now added a ‘selfie’ component to its Driving Skills for Life program.
Young drivers are asked to take a selfie while driving and negotiating obstacles in a controlled environment to demonstrate the dangers of the practice.
A recent survey in Australia by insurer RACQ revealed that mobile phones remain a major distraction for motorists.
Insurer AAMI has also recently launched a study into driver distraction in a bid to 'stigmatise' mobile phone use while driving.
The company said that its own surveys had found that more than half of drivers aged 18-24 had sent or read a message while driving, while 12 percent had updated their Facebook status while behind the wheel.
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