In late 2015, a tragic accident in Georgia claimed the life of a bystander and left another driver with permanent brain injuries. The teenager was allegedly using a popular app which awards virtual “trophies” to users who upload pictures of their speedometer while speeding. At the time of the accident, the driver was traveling 107 mph in a 55 mph zone when she crashes into another vehicle.
After the accident, the driver continued to take selfies of herself and her passenger. Both suffered only minor injuries and the driver posted a picture of herself at the hospital on her social media pages. The driver of the other car has sued both the driver and Snapchat, alleging the driver’s action and the app led to serious and permanent injuries.
Selfie Risks, Big Dangers
Unfortunately, this incident is not an isolated case. There have been many instances reported of serious accidents caused by people using apps or by taking selfies in the car. Even though some apps warn drivers not to use the apps while driving, motorists continue to take risks.
Unfortunately, apps and selfies can lead to car crashes in Miami and other cities very easily because:
- Users may speed or take part in other risky activities to get photos to share on social media.
- Users need to take their eyes off the road to adjust lighting and get a photo.
- Apps and selfies may require more interaction with a mobile device when compared with texting. Users may line up a shot, check lighting, and add filters or make other choices. This could make selfie-taking more dangerous than texting, since a driver’s eyes may be off the road for even longer.
How Can We Prevent Tragedies?
Drivers still need to use good judgement when operating a vehicle, and unfortunately when they are negligent innocent people sometimes suffer. As a society, there are a few things we can do to prevent these types of car accidents:
1) Get tougher on reckless drivers.
You can write to your elected representative about strengthening laws against negligent drivers. You can also support advocacy groups committed to safer streets. In addition, if you are injured in a car accident in Miami or Florida, you can file civil lawsuits against at-fault drivers to send a strong message about reckless driving and to secure compensation for your own injuries.
2) Drive safely ourselves.
You can set a good example for those around you and stay safer on the roads by turning off mobile devices before getting in the car. Be conscious about reducing distractions behind the wheel, each time you drive.
3) Use apps dedicated to safe driving.
Some technology and apps allows drivers (and teen drivers’ parents) to turn off apps or even mobile devices when a car is in motion. This can help prevent tragedies by ensuring phones are turned off during driving.
4) Be supportive on social media.
Consider “liking” or supporting online content that promotes road safety and avoid liking or supporting content showing selfies taken while driving or risk-taking. Encourage responsible use of social media, just as you encourage responsible driving.
Have you been injured in a car accident involving a dangerous driver? Contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.