Snapchatting Just as Dangerous as Texting While Driving

Snapchat is quickly becoming the go-to social media app for teens and young adults. It allows you to upload a video or photo (a “snap”) on your phone, which disappears 10 seconds after someone views it.

Although Snapchat can be a fun way to communicate with friends, auto safety experts say using the Snapchat app while driving is just as dangerous as texting. In fact, evidence suggests that Snapchat may be encouraging risky behavior behind the wheel.  Accidents using Snapchat

Why Is Snapchat Dangerous?

The app has a “speed filter,” which indicates how fast you are traveling when recording. Trying to impress friends with your need for speed has become a popular pastime for teens.

Speeding while Snapchatting can have disastrous consequences. In September 2015, one young Georgia driver was traveling 113 miles per hour when she crashed into another car. The driver of that car has a permanent brain injury and can no longer work. According to news reports, the teenaged driver was “just trying to get the car to 100 miles per hour to post it on Snapchat.” When she was transported to the hospital, she posted a Snapchat of her bloodied face with the caption "Lucky to be alive."

A similar accident occurred in October 2016, when a 22-year-old Tampa man and his 19-year old passenger were Snapchatting at 115 miles per hour. They both lost their lives in the accident that resulted, in addition to killing a young mother and two of her four children. The three survivors were left with serious injuries.

What Can Be Done?

Snapchat displays a "do not Snap and drive" warning every time a user exceeds speeds of over 15 miles per hour. However, critics say this is not enough. They're pushing for removal of the feature completely—saying it serves no purpose other than to encourage dangerous behavior.

Regardless of whether Snapchat decided to restrict its speed filter, drivers should be advised that Snapchats depicting illegal activity can be used as evidence in a trial. To learn more about how your Snapchats may affect your pending court case, please call to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Virginia defense attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh.

 

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