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Snapchat blamed for high-speed driving deaths

As technology advances, it continues to find new ways to distract us behind the wheel. The use of the photo messaging app Snapchat, which has been downloaded more than 100 million times, was recently blamed as the reason for the deaths of two young adults in Florida following a high-speed car crash, according to CBS News.

While texting and driving laws in Florida are relatively flimsy, the deaths stand as a stark reminder of how technology continues to outpace the restrictions of the law. Although no particular law explicitly prohibits the use of Snapchat while driving in California, it is likely that it is illegal under the current texting and driving law.

Not so black and white

So, why is Snapchat to blame for the high-speed deaths in Florida? Snapchat, like Instagram, allows users to edit their photos using a variety of filters including location-based stamps, face-swapping and temperature. Another filter that is the source of this driving death controversy is the "speed filter" that shows the speed at which the person taking the photo is moving.

The app shows a "do not Snap and drive" warning to users if they are traveling at speeds greater than 15 miles per hour, but the warning was not enough to prevent the deaths of the man and woman from Florida. According to the report, the male and female from Florida died nine minutes after a Snapchat video showed the male driver accelerating from 82 mph to 115 mph in just 10 seconds.

Is there a way to filter danger?

Safe-driving advocates attest that, while the speed filter is an "alluring feature" of the app, it is unnecessary and encourages unsafe behavior among young drivers. Because distracted driving laws do not keep pace with technology, it is ultimately up to the user to incorporate safe habits behind the wheel.

The good news is that there are still legal remedies available to those who are injured in a motor vehicle accident. A personal injury attorney can help you gain access to the compensation needed to cover medical expenses and other costs related to an injury.

Although a Snapchat message lasts only an instant, that is still enough time to change a life forever.

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