When Social Media Causes a Car Accident
June 23, 2016
As smartphone use has increased, so has the use of social media while driving, and this is resulting in more accidents. Nearly 24% of young drivers admit to accessing email or social media from their phones while driving, a major distraction for inexperienced drivers.
Dangerous Driving Distractions
Cell phone use while driving is linked to over one million car accidents a year. Certain social media applications have proven themselves to be tempting distractions, causing drivers to take their eyes off the road.
Much attention has been paid to texting while driving. The National Safety Council reports that one in every four car crashes in the United States is the result of texting. Checking, or even posting to social media sites while on the road is just as distracting, if not more so. In just 5 seconds, a car can travel the entire length of a football field, so one post can truly be life-threatening.
Are Some Social Media Sites More Dangerous than Others?
It’s not uncommon for teenagers and adults alike to check their social media profiles multiple times per day. It is now so common for drivers to log on to social media accounts while driving, that insurance agencies and prosecuting attorneys are beginning to review social media activity in preparation for trials.
While posting to or checking any site while driving is dangerous, some sites are now being accused of being more dangerous than others. SnapChat is one popular social media application that allows users to take photos and videos that are immediately viewed by friends before they disappear.
It’s the SnapChat speed filter feature that has some safety experts worried. A teenager in Georgia recently caused a crash while driving over 100 miles hour. It was alleged that the speed filter, which shows users how fast they are moving and awards virtual trophies and awards, was being used when the accident occurred. Though SnapChat does include a warning message that encourages users to not snap and drive, this is often ignored.
Drivers are required to follow the laws of the road and act responsibly while driving. Those who don’t may be found liable in a car accident case. A Las Vegas car accident lawyer can provide additional information regarding the legal obligations of drivers.