Is Snapchat Causing Distracted Driving?

Created by Stanford University students Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, Snapchat is a popular app that gives users the opportunity to send others photos and videos that disappear after a few moments. Since its inception in 2011, Snapchat has become a popular aspect of the smartphone routine of millions of people.

Snapchat is loaded with crazy filters that give users the chance to alter their photos and videos. Filters such as face swap, black and white, vintage, and slo-mo all add some excitement to multimedia. However, the most ridiculous filter ever created is the speedometer filter, which allows users to see how fast they are moving at the time the Snapchat is taken. The speedometer filter has intrigued many Snapchat users and as a result been used in cars while driving.

In 2015, Christal McGee, a teen from Georgia was driving a Mercedes-Benz while using the Snapchat speedometer filter. She drove over 100 miles per hour so that she could post an image of herself going incredibly fast. McGee collided with Uber driver, Wentworth Maynard who suffered a traumatic brain injury that continues to impact him to this day. At the time of the crash, Snapchat recorded that McGee was traveling at 113 mph.

Unfortunately, people of all ages now have the mentality that they have to stay connected and must be on their smartphones at all times, even if it is dangerous. The issue is that people are not thinking about the hazards at the moment they are using their smartphones while driving. They are so wrapped up in what they are doing that they fail to remember they are putting themselves and other drivers in danger.

Fred Lopez of the Orange County Police Department stated that in April 2016 alone, 302 tickets were issued for distracted driving. Lopez explained that distracted driving is distracted driving regardless of what a driver is doing. When asked what the safest speed is for a driver to be using a smartphone or performing any other activity, he responded with “Zero mph. How can you be paying attention to the road when you’re distracted?”

There are a number of personal injury and car accident attorneys in Los Angeles that have explained the dangers of driving while being distracted by a smartphone. We urge all to put their phone in the glovebox while they are operating a moving vehicle.

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