Don't snap and drive!
Snapchat is being sued for causing a car crash that left a man with lifelong injuries. The lawsuit, brought by the Atlanta firm Michael Lawson Neff on behalf of Wentworth Maynard, dates back to an accident in the Atlanta suburb of Hampton on September 10th, 2015. That night 18-year-old Christal McGee (also named in the suit) finished work and offered to give her three friends a ride home in her dad’s Mercedes-Benz C230. According to the lawsuit McGee was trying to Snapchat her speed and ended up crashing into the back of Maynard's Mitsubishi Outlander.
For those unfamiliar with the app, Snapchat has a filter that allows you to overlay your current speed to both photos and videos. The lawsuit claims that a passenger in McGee’s car saw the speed on the filter read 113 MPH, at which point McGee said she was going to post it. Unfortunately she ended up crashing into the back of Maynard’s Mitsubishi. According to the law firm an accident reconstruction put the Mercedes speed at 107 mph when it hit the Mitsubishi. The four occupants in McGee’s car were fine save for scratches and bruises. Unfortunately Maynard was seriously injured and his attorneys say that to this day he has chronic pain and needs constant care from his family.
While in the ambulance on the way to the hospital McGee took a selfie on Snapchat with the caption “Lucky to be alive.” If she’s sending Snapchats in the ambulance she was likely using the app while driving, right? Well, maybe not. One of the passengers in McGee’s car that night, Henry Williams, says she was never using the app. What’s more is that he puts the blame on Maynard, saying he pulled onto the highway but never bothered to speed up. Interestingly the police report from that night levels no blame and the exact speed of either car couldn’t be determined due to road conditions. Snapchat has spoken out about the suit, saying that it actively discourages users from using the speed filter while driving.