Legal Guide

Could Snapchat Be Responsible for Distracted Driver Incidents?

There used to be a time when the worst thing you could do while you were behind the wheel of a car was drink before you hit the road. Although it’s still a very deadly risk, other hazards are being unwittingly perpetrated by drivers across the nation. Fatalities on roads and highways caused by distracted drivers are now surpassing fatalities from drinking and driving.

Distracted drivers are those who do everything from eating to putting on makeup to updating their Facebook status while they are behind the wheel. Because people spend so much time in transport, it makes sense that some might try to multitask while they are driving. Statistics show, however, that distracted driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel of a car.

Any type of distracted driving is hazardous not only to the life of the driver, but also to the lives of anyone else on the road, and personal injury lawyers are getting involved. The latest on the list of evils while driving is an app called Snapchat. Of course, it is dangerous to be snapping anything while you are driving a loaded weapon, but it can also be the very thing to ruin your personal injury case should you get into an accident.

A little-known fact that many people who use Snapchat don’t know is that the app has something called a speed filter. This feature tracks how fast the person in motion is going when they take their selfie. This speed data is collected by Snapchat and used to determine how many people are distracted by using the app while driving. The speed filter could also potentially prevent Snapchat users from snapping if the feature determines they are going over a certain speed limit. The time that it takes to look at a snap tends to be much longer than any other distraction.

The entire idea behind Snapchat is that, once witnessed, whatever flashes across the screen will disappear soon after it is viewed. That means that it commands the viewer’s entire attention. Whether it is a quick photo or a funny video, if the person watching it isn’t giving it their full attention, it will be gone forever. This is putting people at a greater risk when they should be paying attention to the road.

Some personal injury lawyers are using the app as the perfect way to initiate a lawsuit. If you can prove that the person you got in an accident with was distracted while using any social media site, an app, or just their cell phone while in transit, it will be a pretty open-and-shut case. Many personal injury lawyers are using distracted driving as a platform to recruit clients to file suit.

A new personal responsibility question has risen from the Greyhound accidents and other collisions of those who use apps that distract drivers and walkers. Last week, a car crash victim who sustained serious and debilitating brain injuries while using Snapchat in transit has waged a lawsuit against Snapchat, insisting that they were at fault for the injuries.

In a string of lawsuits springing up across the nation, another app that is being targeted in personal injury suits is Pokemon Go! A new twist on the nineties card game, it is an app designed for people to find virtual Pokemon characters while they are walking or on a trip. The problem is that people are putting themselves in dangerous situations to catch these imaginary creatures or not paying attention to their surroundings.

Millions of personal injury suits are showing up around America, but it begs the question if anyone who is using an app has the responsibility to be aware of their surroundings. Do they have an obligation to take care of themselves, or are they all just victims of their social media sites and apps?

The danger of texting and driving is not news to anyone, but teens admit in high percentages that they will occasionally whip out their phones for a quick glance while driving. There really is no way to regulate what people do behind the wheel, because even if it’s made illegal, just like speeding, there are always going to be those who will break the law. The problem is that there’s no way to patrol how people are using their phones while in their vehicles and there will likely never be. This leaves apps and social media sites open to liability in the case of personal injury suits.

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