Seeds: Although most of us would never admit it, it is an indisputable fact that we, as teenagers, are idiots. We’re impulsive and careless and extremely contrarian. But it’s not our fault! The adolescent brain simply does not develop all of its reasoning capabilities until adulthood. (This, coincidentally, doubles as an excuse for almost any mistake. Next time you’ve done something stupid, just blame biology) As a result, we have some of the highest rates of car wrecks, and 11.4% of those wrecks are caused by distracted driving due to cell phone use. This includes making phone calls, texting, and, yes, snapchatting.
Core: Last month, a Georgia man named Wentworth Maynard filed a lawsuit against Snapchat and the young woman named Christal Mcgee who was allegedly snapchatting at the time of the car crash the two were involved in. Maynard is suing Snapchat over the existence of the “speed” filter. He is arguing that its very existence encourages young drivers to increase their speed and instills a “do it for the snap” mentality. For those of you who don’t know (a.k.a for all you old people out there), this filter shows the current speed of the snapchatter.
Skin: This lawsuit has sparked a conversation about the responsibility that companies, more specifically app companies, have with regards to keeping their consumers safe. While many agree that Snapchat has no real legal responsibility associated with the case, others have argued that they do have a moral one.
Leaves: The outcome of this lawsuit is currently unclear, but it may lead to harsher distracted driving laws that equate the offense to drunk driving in the eye of the law. And while these kinds of changes may seem like an overreaction, it has been proven that distracted driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence.
Food For Thought: Do you think Snapchat should be held responsible for McGee’s distracted driving? Is the speed filter really an incentive to drive faster?