McArthur Law Firm

Would You Speed If An App Told You To?

It was the night of September 10th, 2015, when a Georgia Uber driver and his wife encountered headlights zooming toward their Mitsubishi Outlander. They had no idea that the car behind those lights was driving at 107 miles per hour. They had no idea that a social media app might be the cause of the crash that would shatter their lives.

Snapchat is used by the new generation to snap pictures and short videos to share with their friends online. To make the experience even more fun, there are special features in the app that allow you to type messages, stick stickers, and add filters to the video you share. However, one of these features is causing a stir both here in Georgia and the entire world.

The feature in question is called the speed filter. The filter uses the sensors in your phone to figure out how fast you are going, and then it puts that read out into your selfie. It's a feature that has arguably taken distracted driving to a whole new level of dangerous.

Does This Speed Filter Really Cause Accidents?

In July of 2015, a woman in Brazil was critically injured when she was trying to break the 100 mph barrier in her Snapchat video. She crashed while going 110 mph. The Georgia crash that happened in September was caused by an 18-year-old trying to do the same thing. After her crash the girl posted a selfie of herself that said she was lucky to be alive.

The driver of the Mitsubishi has sustained permanent brain damage and can no longer work. He has lost 50 pounds, and requires a walker and a wheelchair to get around. His wife has now filed a civil lawsuit against the teenager and Snapchat. She claims that the company is responsible for what happened because it did not take reasonable steps to eliminate the risks associated with its app. Snapchat has so far denied the charges of negligence, and points to its terms of service, which asks that people not use the app while driving. However, Snapchat does offer an in app trophy to anyone who sends a Snap at or above 100 mph.

Do you think Snapchat should be held responsible for encouraging teens to drive recklessly? Log on to our Facebook and Twitter to let us know.

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