Snapchat Blamed for Several High-Speed Car Crashes
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Today’s technology has increased our social connections and sometimes quality of life. However, road safety is an issue when people use technology while driving, as lives have also been lost due to social media incidents
Distracted driving has increased in recent years, and in particular, high-speed crashes have been attributed contributed to Snapchat's app recently. Jerry is here to investigate the repercussions of social media use while driving.
Apps and road safety don’t mix
Snapchat is a social media app that allows the user to filter pictures and create videos to send to other users. Created in 2011, the app is popular with young people. It even includes video games that can be played with videos and pictures.
In recent years, Snapchat has become one of the top social media apps. It has designed many filters, from cute dog ears and noses, to a video filter that detects your speed.
Snapchat and high-speed crashes
Car and Driver reports Snapchat has been at the center of several high-speed crashes over the last few years. In 2013, the app released its speed filter video filter,which is designed to display the speed of the user while the video is recording.
Some believe this filter has given drivers a push to prove how high they can get the numbers in the video. Several videos have been uploaded showing dangerous speeds that are certainly over the speed limit. In some cases, the speeds exceed 100 mph.
It was one of these videos that recorded the crash of three young men. The three men from Wisconsin died in a high-speed crash after using the filter to record a speed of over 123 mph.
Snapchat was held accountable for the incident by a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court. The decision was a surprise to some, as social media companies are usually protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields companies from the repercussions of posts created by their users. Snapchat was not covered by the act for a simple reason—the filter was part of the app, not a user upload.
There have been other reported issues with the speed filter, where it’s been linked to other crashes. Snapchat responded to these incidents by placing a display on the filter stating, "Don't snap and drive." The company also publicly denounced the use of their app and driving.
However, these actions were contradicted by their own app. The filters are linked to a reward system. This led some users to believe that there would be an award for hitting 100 mph in a Snap. After some debate, Snapchat reduced the maximum speed shown to 35 mph.
The reduction and pop-up were not enough to deter some from using the app while driving. As a result of the court case against them, Snapchat finally removed the speed filter.. While the filter created an incentive for distracted driving for more than eight years, it took Snapchat only one month to remove it from their app completely.
As times progress, more crashes big and small are being caused by distracted driving. Phones have provided users with a link to the world, but the decision to use them while driving is up to the individual.
There are laws and regulations concerning the use of a phone or other devices while driving. End Distracted Driving has launched a petition to force social media apps to include warning pop-ups, disable functions, and develop policies that discourage use while driving.
Insurance for young drivers reflects their lack of experience and ease of distraction. Jerry's AI app can assist with searching over 45 companies for the right insurance for your young driver.