No Snap Is Worth It

For many parents, Snapchat seems like a disaster. Snapchat is a multimedia sharing app that allows users to send images and videos to each other. It includes the option of adding fun filters, personalized drawings, or limited text. A user can send a post, called a snap, to another user, or can broadcast it to their contact list. When it comes to image sharing, Snapchat has a unique angle: after a set amount of time, the images vanish. This feature, according to Snapchat, encourages frivolous and spur-of-the-moment interactions, facilitating natural interaction between users. With the disappearing images, it’s fun to post silly selfies, or sneak peeks of today’s outfit or tonight’s dessert.

However, the images can still be saved, if the user acts quickly enough, and this is what has parents worried. A teenager may send an explicit image, or a video of them doing illegal drugs, and think that they will be okay, since the images go away within seconds. Like anything posted on the internet, images on Snapchat can go way farther than someone originally intended them to, with big consequences.

Don’t Snap and Drive!

While parents worry about incriminating images, Snapchat is becoming a bigger issue in the world of law enforcement. Last summer, a car accident in Georgia drew attention to the dangers of Snapchatting while driving. The accident allegedly occurred because the driver of one car, a teenager, was Snapchatting while driving at an excessive speed. Both drivers were seriously injured, but the teen driver did manage to even send a quick snap from  the ambulance. The driver of the other vehicle is now suing the teen, plus the app itself. He claims that Snapchat encourages using the app while driving, due to their “MPH” filter, which documents the user’s speed.

Last month, a high-speed crash in Tampa killed five people, including two children. Prior to the accident, the driver’s passenger had posted on Snapchat, showing their car traveling over 100 MPH. While the driver was not actively using Snapchat at the time of the crash, the images serve as evidence of his reckless driving.

Snapchat has said that their app does not encourage dangerous driving, and have posted messages to their users warning them against Snapchatting and driving. The MPH filter still exists on the app.

While Snapchat itself may not encourage reckless driving, it adds to the long list of distractions for drivers. Remind teen drivers that using their phone to send a text, take a picture, or even look at a map, can have fatal consequences. Like the teen who posted on Snapchat after her accident, you don’t want your image to go viral for all the wrong reasons!

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The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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