Car accidents can occur for many reasons, and often times the victims of car crashes or their families try to find other people to blame for their bad driving. Distracted driving is a big problem in Pennsylvania, and it is not getting any better after posting a 52 percent increase in distracted driving accidents from 2014 to 2016.
However, good drivers are now going to have to be aware of irresponsible drivers attracted to a new filter on the social media platform Snapchat. There have been several instances of the new speed Snapchat filter causing accidents, but one particularly bad Pennsylvania accident has people asking a lot of questions about driving and social media apps and the correct legal action to take afterward.
The Snapchat Speed Filter
Snapchat is a social media platform that is loaded as an app on your smartphone or tablet. You create your account, and then you take pictures and videos that post automatically to your Snapchat account. After someone views your video or picture once, they can never view it again. Snapchat has been credited with creating new forms of video communication that are changing the way people interact.
The app offers a variety of ways to edit your pictures and videos, and different themes called filters. The app’s speed filter focuses in on your vehicle’s speedometer and then posts a video of your speedometer changing as you drive. Not surprisingly, the Snapchat speed filter has been blamed for many highway deaths and has been named in a variety of civil lawsuits. While Snapchat has a warning message that appears when the vehicle is going faster than 15 M.P.H., many people feel that the warning message is not enough and that the Snapchat speed filter is encouraging people to drive too fast.
Accidents Caused By Distracted Drivers Using The App
A search for articles on Snapchat speed filter lawsuits brings up pages of results, and all of the lawsuits show a chilling pattern of encouraging bad driving. A lawsuit brought by a couple in 2016 claims that the 18-year-old driver who hit them and caused the wife to sustain brain damage was trying to get their Snapchat speed filter to read 100 M.P.H. The social media app offers no reward for reaching 100 M.P.H., but there are several lawsuits that allege that drivers caused accidents while trying to get their Snapchat speed filter to reach 100 M.P.H.
In December 2015, three young women died when their car crashed on a Philadelphia road and burst into flames. The official accident report was prepared to write this accident off as reckless driving and add these three ladies to the growing number of highway deaths in Pennsylvania. But new evidence suggests that a Snapchat filter may have encouraged bad driving and that eventually took the life of these three young women.
Smartphones Are Contributing To Accident Rates
With the rate of distracted driving accidents on the rise in Pennsylvania, the last thing good drivers need is a way for bad drivers to become even worse. The list of accidents and deaths attributed to the app’s speed filter is startling, but the fact that the courts are refusing to at least force Snapchat to make changes to the filter to make it safer is also disturbing.
Since the introduction of smartphones, the spotlight shining on distracted driving car accidents has gotten much brighter. A 2006 University of Utah study showed that distracted drivers are much more dangerous than drunk drivers. For decades, legal authorities were concerned with how to either get drunk drivers off the road or find ways to stop people from driving drunk at all. Because of products such as the Snapchat speed filter, it looks like drunk driving was only the beginning of the problems motorists face when they are on the road.