Is SnapChat Causing Car Accidents?
Cell phone use while driving causes over one million car accidents each year. As cell phone ownership continues to grow, the number of distracted driving accidents is steadily increasing. One of the fastest growing social media applications for teens and other young drivers, SnapChat, is being accused of causing car accidents.
What Is SnapChat?
SnapChat is a social media application that lets users share images and videos. What distinguishes SnapChat from other social media platforms is that the images and videos shared with friends and other users is only live for 24 hours before being deleted.
SnapChat Use While Driving
In 2014, SnapChat introduced a “speed filter” that tracks a user’s speed while taking a photo and overlays the speed on the photo. This filter builds on a popular trend of taking pictures or “selfies” and sharing them on social media. The application even incentivizes using filters like the “speed filter” by awarding users virtual trophies for using them. An alarming trend has emerged involving teens using SnapChat and its speed filter while driving.
While the SnapChat app includes a “Do Not Snap and Drive” warning message, many teens are ignoring the message entirely. The average person texting while driving takes their eyes off the road for five seconds, which is the equivalent of traveling the length of a football field at 55 mph. However, using SnapChat while driving not only encourages users to take their eyes off the road for even longer, but also encourages them to drive faster, greatly increasing the risk of serious injuries in the event of a collision.
A catastrophic car accident in September 2015 occurred because the driver was using SnapChat and its speed filter while driving. The driver crashed into the back end of another vehicle at 107 mph, causing the driver of the other car to sustain a traumatic brain injury. The victim has now filed a lawsuit against the driver, and SnapChat for promoting dangerous driving that caused the accident.
Houston Car Accident Attorneys
All drivers have a duty to stay focused while driving. Any distractions like cell phones, eating, changing the radio station, or talking to a passenger could have devastating consequences for not only the driver, but passengers and other motorists too. The best way to stay safe on the road is to keep your hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and your mind on the task of driving.
There is no excuse for distracted driving. If you sustained an injury from an accident caused by a distracted driver, call the experienced Houston car accident attorneys at Blizzard & Nabers today for a free consultation.