Distracted driving is a huge issue facing drivers in Georgia these days. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that eight people are killed by distracted driving every day in this country. It seems like common sense to most people to refrain from texting and using social media while driving. But what if an app actually encouraged someone to drive recklessly?
That is the issue being raised as a result of a recent crash in Spalding County. The Verge reports that an 18-year old woman caused an accident while going 107 miles per hour on a road with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour. Her reason for driving at such an excessive speed was the social media app Snapchat. Snapchat has a speed filter that tells users how fast they are moving and the woman wanted to post a picture of herself driving fast. Users of the app are awarded “trophies” for achieving certain milestones.
The victim of the accident is suing not only the driver who caused the accident but also Snapchat arguing that the speed filter encourages users to speed. The victim suffered severe injuries and is no longer able to work. He is hoping to recover money through his lawsuit to cover his medical expenses.
Snapchat argues that it discourages users from abusing the speed filter by displaying a warning message in the app. Efforts to get the company remove the speed filter feature have so far not been successful. If the victim’s lawsuit against Snapchat is successful, it will be interesting to see what the implications could mean for social media companies.