Safety officials agree – there’s no greater danger on America’s roadways than distracted drivers. In fact, distracted driving is to blame for more than 3,000 deaths and 425,000 injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes in the US each year. Now, a controversial new feature on the popular Snapchat social media cell phone app is proving particularly worrisome.
Launched in 2011 and boasting more than 100 million daily active users, Snapchat is an image messaging and multimedia mobile application for cell phones that allows users to post photos and videos that are visible to followers for a few seconds before they disappear. Statistics show that users post upward of 9,000 snaps per second at any given moment during the day, and that 11 percent of users admit to checking Snapchat while driving.
At issue is Snapchat’s speed filter feature, which records how fast a phone is traveling and awards users virtual trophies on the app for posting their speeds. The feature allegedly is to blame for a devastating auto accident that left a Georgia man with a severe traumatic brain injury, unable to work and reliant on a walker or wheelchair to get around. It happened when an 18-year-old woman slammed into the victim’s car while going 107 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone. A passenger in the woman’s car testified that at one point shortly before, she was traveling at 113 mph. And the driver unbelievably even posted a Snapchat photo of her bloodied face while inside an ambulance.
Undoubtedly, more avid Snapchat users will fall to the temptation of racking up those speed-driven trophies while behind the wheel. If you or someone you love is injured in an accident caused by a driver using a mobile device or otherwise distracted, report the incident to police immediately, get medical treatment and call 800-251-1111 to speak with an auto accident attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.