A petition has been created to remove a ‘miles per hour’ Snapchat filter amid allegations that it encourages reckless driving, according to the New York Times. Snapchat, a photo and video messaging app, has a filter that shows the speed at which you are moving while taking a photo or video.
Last year, 18-year-old Christal McGee was driving with three friends on a Hampton, Georgia freeway when she collided with a merging vehicle. Shortly following the incident, McGee posted a photo of herself to Snapchat with the caption, “Lucky to be alive.” The photo went viral, leading the police to open an investigation into the crash.
One year following the incident, the other driver, Wentworth Maynard, has filed a lawsuit against Snapchat and McGee for negligence. Maynard, who suffered from severe brain damage as a result of the collision, claims that the crash was caused in part by McGee’s usage of the snapchat filter while driving. The lawsuit alleges that McGee was attempting to reach over 100 mph on Snapchat when Maynard’s car merged onto the highway. McGee struck Maynard’s car at 107 mph on a road where the speed limit was 55 mph.
Says Maynard’s attorney, “This is a product liability case because Snapchat put something very dangerous in the marketplace without any warnings or safeguards, and basically said, whatever happens, happens.” The lawsuit suggests that despite knowledge of the dangers of a speed filter, Snapchat has failed to take steps to eliminate risks associated with their products by refusing to remove the filter. A similar case occurred in Brazil last year, in which a woman wrecked her vehicle while captioning, “180 KM LMAO” on Snapchat. The woman continued to Snapchat the accident following the impact.
Maynard and his wife hope to seek damages to cover his medical bills. Maynard, a former Uber driver, is now confined to a walker and wheelchair.
In response to the petition, Snapchat has recently added a caption under the ‘miles per hour’ filter cautioning, “Please, DO NOT Snap and Drive.”