Snapchat: The New Apps which Kids Love but which Parents Fear
At around 11:15 p.m. of September 10, 2015, 18-year old Christal McGee’s car crashed into a Mitsubishi which was being driven by Wentworth Maynard. Due to the force of impact created by McGee’s car, Maynard suffered extensive brain damage which left him in intensive care for five weeks and requires he use either a walker or a wheelchair in order to get anywhere.
On the night of the accident, McGee’s driving speed was 107 mph; she was in a 55 mph zone. Her reason for driving too fast was she wanted to capture the Snapchat filter image at 100 mph so she can post it on Snapchat. While the accident is another case of distracted teenage driving, the defendants named in Maynard’s lawsuit were McGee, the driver, and Snapchat which, according to Maynard’s lawyer, was encouraging teenage drivers to drive at very fast speeds for social status.
Obviously, Snapchat has overtaken cell phone use when it comes to the leading cause of distracted driving, making it the main concern of personal injury lawyers all across the U.S. The issue, specifically, is Snapchat’s speed filter feature which is able to track how fast a person is traveling while he or she takes a selfie. The photos taken, however, can only be viewed for a few seconds and the pictures disappear right after. This requires the person to whom the photos were sent to pay attention to the images, making him or her turn her concentration from whatever other thing he or she is doing, which may just happen to be driving.
Snapchat, which was launched in 2011, is an image messaging mobile app that allows users to take videos and pictures that self-destruct after a few seconds. A user sending a message can decide how long an image will remain visible, between 1 and 10 seconds, making the receiver put all his or her attention into such image before he or she loses it permanently.
According to one personal injury lawyer, any person injured by a driver who is distracted by Snapchat while behind the wheel may not just have the distracted driver to blame, but Snapchat as well. Snapchat, meanwhile, seems poised and ready to defend itself in any lawsuit where it is, accused of causing car accident deaths.