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Selfies: the Ugly Truth

Summer is upon us and to the tried and true inhabitants of the DC Metro, Northern Virginia area that means one thing: tourists. More pedestrian traffic, more lines at our favorite restaurants and monuments, and now, more selfies. For example, you’re walking down by the Washington Monument enjoying the oppressive humidity when someone stops suddenly in front of you, arm out with their phone (or better yet holding a “selfie stick”) to snap a picture of themselves with the monument behind them. While this behavior is simply trying to most, it is also dangerous, an innocuous danger veiled by youth and self-absorption.

Selfies and “selfie sticks” are beginning to be banned all over the world. The Tour de France banned the taking of selfies as people were jumping out in front of oncoming cycling traffic, their backs to it, fumbling with their phones, and causing accidents. In Spain, a man is being charged $4,000 for jumping out in front of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. Closer to home, in Disneyworld, selfies and “selfie sticks” have been banned during rides. Even popular concert events such as Lollapalooza and Coachella have banned “selfie sticks”.

You may very well wonder why such an action is generating so much attention. A couple weeks ago Pizza Hut released a commercial entitled “The Dangers of Selfie Sticks”, which went viral in a few short hours. While the commercial took a more tongue-in-cheek approach to the epidemic of selfie taking, having people get struck by lightning while holding up their phones, the very action of taking a selfie can be dangerous. Last year in Portugal a couple died taking a selfie while standing on a cliff which collapsed beneath them. More common accidents include people falling down stairs, tripping into traffic, and some accidently striking others with their “selfie sticks”.

Distracted walking, like driving, causes injuries. People are now more interested in their phones, their funny pictures, their music, and their texts than they are interested in their surroundings. More and more injuries are being sustained from pedestrian collisions, pedestrians walking out into traffic, people falling down stairs, down into metro tracks, and more. As a humorous, yet completely true hyperbole, China has implemented a “Cell Phone Lane” to be drawn on the sidewalk to raise awareness of distracted walking.

This summer, look out for tourists who will be stopping to take pictures and selfies, and if you are trying to take the “perfect” selfie, walk away from busy roads, busy sidewalks, and clear an area to take your picture. Take personal responsibility for your safety and the safety of others. End distracted walking and selfie responsibly.

Enjoy the summer holidays!


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Thomas J. Curcio

Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…

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Rakin Hamad

Rakin Hamad is a graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at the…

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Julia Martinez

Julia Martinez, a Florida native, joined Curcio Law as a paralegal in 2013. She began her legal career in 1998 working at a personal injury firm that primarily handled automobile accidents, slip and falls, and products liability cases. Then, in 2008 she expanded her knowledge by working at two other law firms. She obtained her…

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Kathy McAfee
Office Manager

As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…

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Riann Winget
Legal Assistant/Receptionist

Riann Winget, a native Texan, graduated with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Legal Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. She was a member of the varsity soccer team, Chi Omega Sorority, and was on the university board for Big Brothers Big Sisters. After graduation, she joined AmeriCorps and taught preschool…

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