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Couple loses bid to sue Snapchat over unsafe app feature involved in 2015 crash

Distracted driving is, as readers know, a significant problem in the United States, particularly distracted driving caused by cell phone use. Despite the passage of state laws specifically penalizing distracted driving, public education campaigns on the dangers of distracted driving, and increased enforcement efforts, the habit of distracted driving has proven to be a stubborn one.

While it certainly is not only young people who are prone to distracted driving, some have said the problem is more pronounced with this group. There are probably various reasons for this, one of them being that young people are more prone to not thinking through the consequences of their actions. The fact that compulsive cell phone use is a problem among the young is likely also part of the picture as well. 

A case that demonstrates well both of these points is an accident in Georgia back in 2015, in which injured a couple, leaving the husband with brain damage. The crash was caused by the teen driver’s use of the popular app Snapchat, which allows users to temporarily upload images and videos to other users. One of the features of Snapchat allows users to track their speed, and this is what the driver was doing at the time of the crash.

After the accident, the couple filed a lawsuit against both the driver for causing the accident and Snapchat for failing to take steps to prevent unsafe use of the app’s “speed filter” feature. The judge handling the case recently dismissed the charges against Snapchat, leaving the couple only with their claim against the driver.

In our next post, we’ll look at the decision and what it might mean for distracted driving victims going forward. 

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