According to the shaky cell phone video obtained by the Florida Highway Patrol, speed was the cause of a recent Tampa Bay area motor vehicle crash that claimed the lives of five – including two children. In the 10 second video filmed by the vehicle’s passenger, you can see the speed registers across the screen – first at 82.6 mph, then climbing to 115.6 mph – all with load club music playing in the background. The posted speed limit on this stretch of road is 50 mph.
The video was posted to the SnapChat social media app just seconds before his Volkswagen Gulf would cross the median and slam head-on into a Toyota minivan, killing the driver and the passenger who made the film, along with the driver of the minivan and her two children. A driver of a third car was also seriously injured.
According to one Highway Patrol trooper, the video clearly shows “a driver showing a high disregard for himself and his passenger that claimed the life of a mother and two children”.
This incident furthers criticism of a popular SnapChat feature that enables users to use their phone’s GPS in order to post real-time speed information over a photo or video. According to critics, this feature only encourages people to speed while at the same time being distracted by their phones: “It incentivizes somebody to do something they know is not safe, but they do it anyway for the sake of the picture or video – it’s just instigating the user to get up to a dangerous speed and then post it online,” says Safer America, a consumer safety blog.
In fact, this exact feature is the premise of a Georgia lawsuit, where SnapChat has been sued following a car accident where the driver was using the SnapChat speed filter at the time she crashed head into another car. According to the complaint, the driver was “just trying to get the car to 100 miles per hour to post it on SnapChat”. At the time of the crash the vehicle had reach 113 mph in a 55 mph zone. The complaint claims that not only is the driver negligent, but so is SnapChat for its refusal to delete a feature that it knows encourages risky behavior.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a Florida car crash involving a distracted driver – whether it be SnapChat or sending a text via their phone while driving – you have the legal right to seek compensation for your injuries. To learn more, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. today.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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