A local family from Kansas City is mourning the loss of their loved one, due to a fatal car accident that occurred in March of 2016. The victim was a 30-year-old father of six who was struck by a driver who may have been using Snapchat at the time of the accident.
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a video chatting application that allows users to record videos of themselves to share with others. You can record full videos or just clips, but they are only a few seconds long. Then, users can add accents to their video clips, and further customize them to share within their Snapchat network. It is not intended to be used while driving, but some users feel that because it is â€œhands-free,â€ they can use it safely. The fact that it allows users to record video is extremely dangerous â€“ especially when paired with the task of driving â€“ because a user is no longer cognitively or physically focused on the road, which leaves him or her distracted.
As Snapchat increases in popularity, so do the number of car accidents caused by the application.
In this accident scenario, the victim was turning left when the distracted driver struck the victimâ€™s side and pushed the vehicle into a pole. The man was trapped inside the vehicle, and died at the scene.
Why is Snapchat So Popular?
Snapchat has gained popularity over the past two years, especially among the Millennial generation â€“ those between the ages of 12 and 27. In fact, some experts feel that Snapchat will eventually surpass Facebook in popularity, since it allows individuals to skip text and go straight to image updates. Snapchat lets users send photos that appear and disappear within 10 seconds; the photos are gone the moment after they are viewed.
The issue with Snapchat is not the application itself, but when it is used while driving. Any time that a driverâ€™s eyes are diverted from the road and down to the palm of his or her hand, the driver is increasing the risk for an accident. A driver can miss stop signs, ignore traffic signals, rear end another vehicle, or even strike a pedestrian. Even if a driver takes his or her eyes off of the road for a few seconds, he or she is able to travel a remarkable number of feet â€“ all without looking at the road.
The Snapchat Speed Filter
Snapchat is dangerous enough, but now the application has added a filter that lets users share how fast they are going while using Snapchat behind the wheel. The picture shown to other users will also show the userâ€™s speed in miles. While the feature was originally created for those running or even cycling, more users are taking advantage of it while driving â€“ which is increasing the likelihood, and number, of accidents.
What if Youâ€™re Injured by a Snapchat User?
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident with a driver using Snapchat or another social networking application, you may be entitled to compensation. Distracted driving is negligent driving and that driver could be held responsible for your injuries and monetary losses. To see if you qualify for compensation, contact the experts at Horn Law for a consultation by calling 816-795-7500 or filling out our online contact form with your questions.