Snapchat is facing a lawsuit due to a car wreck caused by a driver potentially using the app.
The lawsuit describes a 2015 incident in which driver Christal McGee allegedly increased her driving speed in order to see the reading on Snapchat’s speed filter get above 100 mph. The complaint alleges that Snapchat was, or should have been, aware of the danger caused by people looking at the speed filter while driving, yet did nothing to remove or change it. – Mashable
McGee collided with another vehicle containing passengers Wentworth and Karen Maynard at 107 mph in a 55 mph zone. Wentworth suffered permanent brain damage.
The law firm representing the plaintiffs stated that Snapchat is partially responsible for the wreck and should help pay for damages.
“Snapchat’s speed filter facilitated McGee’s excessive speeding. McGee was motivated to drive at an excessive speed in order to obtain recognition through Snapchat by means of a Snapchat ‘trophy’.”
The firm mentions the points and trophies system several times and indicate that it played a vital role in the girl’s actions, though there are no trophies related to specifically to the speed filter.
This means that she would not have the further incentive of a trophy pushing her to drive recklessly. Snapchat also has messages against driving and using the app and the speed filter specifically.
“No Snap is more important than someone’s safety. We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving, including by displaying a ‘Do NOT Snap and Drive’ warning message in the app itself.”
The app’s terms of service also states: “Do not use ours services in a way that would distract you from obeying traffic or safety laws. And never put yourself or others in harm’s way just to capture a snap.” The filter itself contains a small warning that says “don’t snap and drive.”
Is snapchat at fault here, should they pay up? It is completely the girls mis-judgment to speed like that while using a phone, but the goal of creating a snap while speeding is definitely provoked by the app. The fact that they have explicit notices against snapping and driving does protect them a bit, but you could say that the app caused the accident.