Snapchat is one of the more popular social media platforms that works by combining pictures and video updates with captions. The result is a kind of real-time feed, with a twist that all updates get automatically deleted in 24 hours.
Snapchat has a filter that allows users to share how fast they are travelling while they take selfies. It is for this reason that the company is now facing a suit for a 2015 accident involving three people.
The accident victim, Wentworth Maynard is blaming Snapchat’s speed filter for a crash that left him with traumatic brain injuries, according to a new lawsuit. He had been merging onto a four lane highway outside of Atlanta, Georgia when his car was struck “so violently it shot across the left lane into the left embankment,” his lawyers contend.
The woman driving the car that struck him, Christal McGee, had allegedly been on her phone trying to use the Snapchat speed filter at the time of the crash.
The victim’s lawyers say; “McGee wanted to post an image of herself going fast. She argued that she was, ‘Just trying to get the car to 100 miles per hour to post it on Snapchat.” They added that a passenger in McGee’s car said she had hit 113 mph on the Snapchat filter when the speed limit was 55 mph. She had therefore failed to notice, distracted as she was by her phone that a gray Mitsubishi, driven by Maynard Wentworth, had pulled out onto the road.
Maynard and his wife are now suing McGee and Snapchat to pay for the medical bills. He spent five weeks in intensive care for severe traumatic brain injury treatments and now needs a walker or wheelchair to get around and cannot work. He was an Uber driver at the time of the accident last year.
McGee, who was also injured in the accident, apparently also took to Snapchat to take a snap captioned,”Lucky to be alive” while she was in the ambulance, on a gurney, with blood on her face. The lawsuit also alleges that Snapchat has been aware of previous accidents caused by using the app while driving at high speeds, and yet the company chose not to remove the speed filter.
A Snapchat spokesman who said he could not comment on a pending lawsuit, nevertheless added that the app has always included a warning to people, that snaps should not be taken while driving. It may seem that should be a fact that is apparent to almost everyone, but unfortunate deaths and accidents from selfies continue to abound.
While some governments have stepped in to declare some strict rules to the regard, it seems that our policing must stretch beyond that. Both the companies that propagate the culture and the individuals who jump wholly into it must hold themselves to a higher standard.
Human life is indeed more precious than the need to depict said life as exciting and current. When technology is deadly, it is mostly because human beings are careless.