Don’t Snap and Drive

Would you believe that a survey of 665 motorists found that 5.6 percent of both genders admitted to changing their clothes while behind the wheel, and 5.5 percent of men and 2.1 percent of women admitted to shaving while driving? Such behavior certainly falls under the label of distracted driving, which contributes to 16 percent of all fatal crashes every year. In fact, it has been estimated that drivers spend more than 50 percent of their time focused on things other than driving. Ever since mobile phones have exploded in popularity, it has become even easier for drivers to place their attention somewhere other than on the road. Too many of us can’t resist that “ding” telling us we have a text, that impulse to share a picture RIGHT NOW, that need to post the witty comment that just popped into our brain. Seventy percent of smartphone users are on their phones while driving – but they aren’t just texting. Almost 40 percent are using social media, 28 percent are surfing the Web, and 10 percent are chatting by video. Drivers’ use of the messaging app Snapchat is on the rise. The app allows users to send pictures and videos that self-destruct after a few seconds. One study found that the app was used by 39 percent of teen motorists, which was more than Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. A Georgia teenager is alleged to have caused a near-fatal wreck at over 100 miles per hour while using the app’s speed filter, which allows users to take a selfie and overlay it with a stamp showing how fast they were going at the time. The Georgia incident resulted in a lawsuit. The plaintiff spent five weeks in intensive care suffering from a severe traumatic brain injury. His pending lawsuit accuses Snapchat of motivating drivers to operate their vehicles at an excessive and dangerous speed in order to receive a virtual trophy. Snapchat has responded that the app has a warning that specifically telling users not to use it while driving. Where the line of legal liability gets drawn between user and app developer remains to be seen. There is also concern over Snapchat’s new product, “Spectacles.” These glasses allow users to capture short videos from their own perspective and post it to the app. Could this turn into just one more way drivers are distracted from their responsibilities on the road? Too many of us are fiddling with technology as we fly down the street. The next time you take your eyes off the road in front of you, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off of driving, consider whether it’s really worth hurting yourself or someone else. And if you or someone you love has been injured by someone who took that chance, you need an attorney with experience to effectively represent your interests. The KY distracted driving accident attorneys at the Johnson Law Firm have been helping people for over 15 years, and we can help you. Based in Pikeville, KY, we proudly serve communities throughout the Bluegrass State. Contact us by calling 1-855-433-7534 or filling out our online form.

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