Snapchat, the increasingly popular picture phone app, is now at the center of attention for those looking for causes of distracted driving. Many are pointing to the app’s “speed filter” feature which allows drivers to track how fast they are going, tag it on a photo, and share it with their friends. Because pictures and videos disappear in 10 seconds or less, drivers allegedly become more distracted from the road and place more focus on the picture before it’s gone. According to the United States Department of Transportation, distracted driving activities such as sending or receiving pictures can take your eyes off of the road for about 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that is similar to driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
In April, Georgia resident Wentworth Maynard sued Snapchat and a young driver for a car crash that left him with serious brain injuries. The lawsuit alleges that a young driver was driving at speeds over 100 mph because she was using the filter. While distracted, the driver crashed into the Mitsubishi that Maynard was driving. He suffered major brain trauma as a result. The accident took place in Clayton County, and the minimum driver’s insurance is $25,000, an amount which will likely not be enough to cover Maynard’s medical costs.
Following the suit, Snapchat released the following statement:
“No Snap is more important than someone’s safety. We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving, including the ‘Do NOT Snap and Drive’ warning message in the app itself.”
Drivers should remember that no text or picture is important enough to take their eyes off the road while driving. If it's an urgent matter, drivers should pull over to the side of the road. Taking this cautious step will not only help reduce the chances of you getting injured in a car accident, but it can also help save the lives of other drivers on the road.
If you or someone you know has been in an accident caused by distracted driving, feel free to call The Michigan Law Firm PLLC. Our attorneys are experienced in handling these types of accidents, and will get you the help you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.