Imagine going over 100 mph in your car and then putting a blindfold on. It sounds insane, but that’s basically what happened last September when an 18 year-old driver took her eyes off the road to use SnapChat and its “Speed Filter,” causing her to crash into the backend of another vehicle while traveling at a speed of 107 mph.
SnapChat is a popular social media application (app) most commonly used by teens and young adults. SnapChat allows users to share photos and videos; however, these photos and videos are only live for 24 hours before they are deleted. The app awards users with trophies for the frequency at which they use the app’s filters. SnapChat’s speed filter uses GPS technology to record the user’s speed and overlays the speed atop the user’s photo.
Teenagers are particularly susceptible to thrill seeking behavior, and this filter has teenage users across the country engaging in dangerous distracted driving. Because the pictures are deleted after 24 hours, it’s impossible to tell how widespread the problem is, but it has already proven to cause catastrophic car accident injuries.
SnapChat use while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving and speeding, all for the sake of taking a sharable “selfie” photo. On average, people texting while driving take their eyes off the road for five seconds. People using SnapChat while driving easily take their eyes off the road for even longer. In addition, the SnapChat speed filter encourages users to speed, greatly increasing the severity of injuries in the event of a car accident.
In July 2015, a petition was started on www.change.org asking SnapChat to remove its speed filter because it was encouraging dangerous behavior among users. Despite receiving several thousand signatures on the petition and the catastrophic crash causing the user to hit the back end of another vehicle at 107 milers per hour several months later, SnapChat has not removed the filter. Regardless of SnapChat’s filters, drivers have a responsibility to drive safely.
Using SnapChat, texting, eating, talking to a passenger, or engaging in any distracting behavior while driving is dangerous for the driver, passengers, and any surrounding motorists. It is a driver’s responsibility to be in control of their vehicle at all times. This includes hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and a mind on the task of driving.
There’s no excuse for distracted driving. If you were injured in a distracted driving car accident, contact the experienced Lake Charles, Louisiana distracted driving accident attorneys at Hoffoss Devall today to learn how we can help.