Cell phones and mobile applications, or apps, have made driving easier in many ways, but it has also led to a tremendous surge in distracted and reckless driving. It’s not uncommon for drivers of all ages to be talking on their phone or texting while driving. Teenagers are particularly prone to text messaging while driving, and doing so is now the leading cause of teen deaths in Kansas City. While the fault of accidents is most often placed on a driver’s actions, the mobile app Snapchat is now being sued for its role in causing reckless driving.
Snapchat Speed Filter and Reckless Driving
Snapchat is an image messaging app that allows users to send digital content, such as photos and videos, to other users. One feature of the app is a speed filter, which overlays lettering stating how many mph the user is traveling. While it may seem relatively harmless at first, when 18-year-old Crystal McGee sent out a Snapchat, with a speed filter clocking in at 107 mph in a 55 mph zone, the stakes became much higher. Unsurprisingly, she crashed her vehicle, which held several passengers, right into another vehicle, leaving the driver, Wentworth Maynard, with permanent brain damage and life-long medical expenses.
Not only is Maynard pressing charges against McGee for damage in his lawsuit, he is also suing Snapchat. His lawyers argue that Snapchat knowingly was encouraging reckless driving behavior by offering users trophies for using various filters. The lawsuit also cites a similar accident that occurred with a woman Snapchatting her 110 mph speed in Brazil. In fact, prior to the incident, various petitions had called for Snapchat to remove the speed filter with no response from the company. Nearly 40 percent of social media users log into services while driving.
Missouri Cell Phone Laws and Driving
The dramatic rise in car accidents related to cell phone usage and mobile technology has led to many states implementing restrictions on phone usage while driving. Currently, Missouri has no such laws in place for banning cell phone usage while driving. Texting while driving, however, is illegal for people under the age of 21. Regardless of the laws, cell phone usage while driving, whether it’s talking or texting can be very dangerous and drivers are encouraged to invest in hands-free devices or refrain from using the mobile devices while driving.
Getting Compensation for Reckless Driving Accident
Mobile technology is pervasive in the modern era and there are very few amongst us who aren’t guilty of using our cell phones while driving, at least occasionally. Despite not having any laws in place against using cell phones while driving, it can still constitute as reckless driving if you have an accident. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver who was distracted because of their cell phone, you are entitled to compensation. Contact the skilled Kansas City auto accident lawyer at the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm to learn more about how reckless driving can affect your case. Call today for a free consultation regarding the specifics of your case.
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.