The social media messaging application Snapchat has become extremely popular among millennials in Mississippi and across the nation because it allows users to modify their photographs and videos with innovative filters and effects. However, one of these filters has drawn condemnation from road safety advocates and leading law enforcement figures.
Five people lost their lives in October when a minivan was struck by a speeding vehicle in Florida. Accident investigators subsequently discovered that the young man behind the wheel of the speeding car had been posting video on Snapchat and using the application's controversial speed filter just minutes before the fatal crash. The victims of the crash also included a mother and two of her children.
The Snapchat speed filter automatically adds a miles per hour tag to uploaded content. The dangers of this feature became apparent in September 2015 when an Uber driver was seriously injured in a high-speed car accident in Georgia. Police say that the 18-year-old woman responsible had deliberately increased her speed immediately before the crash to impress her social media following. Snapchat has responded to criticism by pointing out that the application warns users not to post while behind the wheel. However, road safety advocates say that this does little to protect innocent road users.
Personal injury attorneys may name defendants other than negligent drivers or their insurance carriers in lawsuits filed on behalf of car accident victims. All individuals, official bodies and corporations have a duty of care to do all that they reasonably can to prevent foreseeable injury, loss or damage. A party could face civil litigation if this duty is not met.