There are many actions an individual in Massachusetts can take while behind the wheel that can put themselves, and others, at risk. One of the most obvious is drunk driving. Driving while intoxicated can slow a motorist’s reaction time, inhibit his or her ability to fully observe surroundings and challenge the driver’s ability to maintain his or her lane. But there is another type of driving that is just as dangerous: distracted driving.
To see the full effect of distracted driving, one need look no further that one recently filed lawsuit against a teen driver and mobile application Snapchat. The lawsuit, filed by a man who suffered serious brain injuries in the head-on collision, claims that the teenager was using Snapchat’s speed filter at the time of the accident. The filter, which allows a user to take a selfie with their rate of speed marked with the photo, can encourage a motorist to drive faster than the speed limit and take his or her eyes off the road to take the photo.
An accident re-constructionist has determined that the teenager was driving at 107 miles per hour at the time of the accident. The teen maintains that the victim crossed into her lane at the time of the accident. This will likely be an issue addressed through settlement negotiations or trial, but the teenager’s rate of speed may be a major factor.
This case not only illustrates the dangers of distracted driving, but also how far-reaching the issue can be. While motorists are certainly to blame for being inattentive while behind the wheel, perhaps companies that encourage such negligent behavior should be held accountable too. In an effort to recoup compensation for their damages, Massachusetts residents who have been harmed in a car accident should consider speaking with their personal injury attorney to learn more about their options.
Source: The New York Times, “Snapchat at 107 M.P.H.? Lawsuit Blames Teenager (and Snapchat),” Katie Rogers, May 3, 2016