Throughout the United States, distracted driving has become an epidemic. Cell phone use - especially texting while driving - is causing an increasing number of accidents every day. According to the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration, 424,000 people were injured in vehicle crashes caused by distracted drivers in 2013. Today, Texas parents, including one McLennan County mother, and others around the country are becoming concerned about a new danger that is causing drivers even more distraction. It's called Snapchat.
The Danger of Snapchat's Speed Filter
Snapchat is a social media app for smart phones. It allows users to take pictures and video and send them to others. The transmitted images automatically delete between one to ten seconds later. What makes the app unique is that phone screens can be captured and sent to other users, though the images aren't stored. According to Snapchat's CEO, around 150 million images are shared on a daily basis. Snapchat has various functions or filters that can be applied when using the app. One of these filters is the speed filter. This filter allows a Snapchat user to take of picture of their current operating speed and transmit it other users.
Numerous teens in Texas, as well as other places have been using the speed filter while driving, some even attempting to see how fast they can go before snapping a picture. Obviously, this is incredibly dangerous and should be discouraged by parents and friends. The filter is suspected in causing multiple accidents and at least one fatality. When operating a motor vehicle, here are some basic safety tips to serve as a reminder to all drivers and for parents to share with teen drivers:
Driver Safety Tips
- Watch the road and nothing else. Don't eat, apply cosmetics, text or talk on your cell while driving.
- If you have to use your cell phone, park your vehicle first and then use your phone.
- Turn your cell phone off before starting your vehicle. This way, you won't be tempted to answer it, take a photo or send a text.
Some states have enacted laws to reduce distracted driving, but Texas is not one of them. Therefore, when driving in Texas, be aware that other drivers may not focused on the road. If you or a family member has been injured in a crash and you suspect distracted driving was involved, contact our law firm for help.