Philadelphia Automobile Accident Lawyers on Distracted Driving, Snapchat and Speeding June 15, 2016
Reports of distracted driving have been flooding the news lately. The distracted driving epidemic is a far-reaching and serious one, with automobile accidents and accident-related fatalities occurring too frequently to be ignored.
Distracted driving, typically defined as when the operator of a car is participating in other activities that could seriously limit their driving abilities and response times, includes driving while tired, texting while driving and, now, using Snapchat while driving.
Snapchat is a mobile messaging application that allows users to take and send pictures, short videos, drawings and more. It is a free application and has drawn a very large group of users throughout the world. Snapchat also has a feature , or “lens”, that records the speed of a vehicle in motion. Interestingly, Snapchat gives “trophies” to its users for completing certain tasks. According to a recent lawsuit, these “trophies” may be responsible for encouraging users to utilize this speed feature and record their miles per hour while behind the wheel and actively driving.
This past April, a teenager was involved in an accident that left both herself and the other driver severely injured. While the teenage driver was at the hospital, she “Snapchatted” a photo of herself to her friends that showed her on a gurney with blood running down her face. She titled the Snapchat “lucky to be alive”. The injured party is now in the process of suing not only the teenage driver, but Snapchat as well, holding both parties liable.
Snapchat’s potential legal liability here rests on the notion that its application is negligent in respect to promoting unsafe, distracted driving by allotting trophies for reckless and dangerous driving behaviors. The teen driver is thought to have been traveling at 107 m.p.h. at the time of the accident, although there are conflicting reports and so far, no traffic violations have been issued.
Snapchat has responded to these claims and alleged that they in no way promote unsafe driving and that instead, they warn their users to not use the speed lens while driving by showing a warning message that says:” Do NOT Snap and Drive”. However, this does beg the question that if the speed lens is meant to record the speed of a vehicle in motion, then is Snapchat somehow contributing to the distracted driving epidemic that is costing lives and severely altering countless others?
While it will take some time to see how this case progresses and if Snapchat is held to be legally liable for the injuries sustained by the second party the one, consistent takeaway from these far too frequent instances of distracted driving is to not use any devices while behind the wheel and operating a vehicle. When it comes to using your mobile device when driving (or driving while tired, etc.), the risks to yourself and others are never worth it.
Philadelphia Automobile Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP
If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP represent victims injured in automobile accidents and are committed to helping them claim the maximum compensation they are entitled to receive. With offices located in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.