Does the Snapchat Speed (MPH) Filter Encourage Reckless Driving?

Recently, a teen from Georgia was cited for a collision that may have been triggered by Snapchat, a phone application that allows users to share photos and videos with their social network. Snapchat images can only be viewed for a few seconds before they disappear. The speed filter is a Snapchat feature that prompts speeding and distraction. When a user applies the filter, it records the speed that the user is driving while snapping a photo.

According to police, Christal McGee, the Georgia teen who was using the filter, was driving at 107 mph when she crashed into Maynard Wentworth and left him with permanent brain damage. Although Wentworth and his wife believe McGee was using the speed filter when the accident occurred, Snapchat has stated that this allegation is incorrect.

In an article titled “Snapchat’s Facelift: What Dangers Are Associated for Drivers?,” Katie Bassett of Safer America teams up with host Robin Young to talk about the safety challenges correlated with Snapchat and various other phone applications.

During Bassett’s discussion with Young, she revealed that Snapchat has considered putting a cap on the speed filter.

However, Bassett explained that a cap will not prevent the dangers of the filter may cause. Users will still use the filter to accelerate up to 60 miles an hour, which is the capped speed. Bassett stated that although Snapchat can definitely find more effective ways to solve the speed filter problem, the drivers, themselves should be held responsible for paying attention to the road.

Another noteworthy point in the article is the fact that Snapchat stories auto advance, meaning that users don’t need to click through to watch each story because they instantly start and continue. Jeff Rosenbaum, a Philadelphia personal injury attorney disclosed that just taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds is equal to the length of a football field. When these stories are running over and over and watched for a minute, a user can be driving for miles and at high risk of sparking a car accident.

Lastly, Snapchat stickers, which are similar to texting emoji’s provide users with over 200 options to scroll through, distracting them from the road. It’s Facetime-like video calling feature can also pose a danger to drivers who decide to talk to someone while they are behind the wheel.

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