A family from Georgia is suing Snapchat, claiming that the social media app encouraged a teenage girl to post a photo while driving well over 100 miles-per-hour.
Christal McGee, 18, was attempting to use Snapchat's speed filter so she could drive 107 miles-per-hour. She ended up in a near-fatal car accident last September, in which she shared a Snapchat photo of herself on a stretcher with the caption: "Lucky to be alive." McGee was not alone in the vehicle. She not only injured herself, but she put a driver into a coma.
Christal also had two other passengers, Heather McCarty and Kaylan Henderson, with her at the time of the crash, both of which told the New York Daily News that they begged her to slow down but it was too late. It's unclear if the two girls were hurt, but the other driver, Wentworth Maynard, will take years to make a full recovery.
"He was in a coma and spent five weeks in intensive care," an attorney for Wentworth revealed to the media outlet. "He has a brain injury that is permanent. His wife is having to take care of him."
In an interview with WSB-TV 2, McCarty, 27, recalled what happened at the time of the accident. She said she was pregnant during the time, and was hoping to get a safe ride from home with her co-worker, McGee. McCarty said that McGee told her and Henderson that she would slow down after she hit the 100 mph limit.
"I asked her, 'Did that keep up with the speed of the car?' and she said, 'Yeah.' I just remember screaming 'there's a car' and I know we hit the back of his vehicle and I don't remember anything after that."Though the accident occurred last September, it's been sparking interest since Snapchat is now involved in the case. A spokesperson for the social media app told NYDN that " No Snap is more important than someone's safety. We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving, including by displaying a 'Do NOT Snap and Drive' warning message in the app itself."
But WSB-TV 2's report claims that the app doesn't even include a warning not to Snap and drive every time the feature is used. McCarty said that she has never used Snapchat herself, which allows you to track your speed while you take a photo or video and even offers a filter of it to share with your friends.
"I think it's very dangerous, and I think a lot of people are unaware of the dangers of it," she said.
She believes that Snapchat should be responsible for removing the speed filter from the app. McCarty also has a strict warning for all drivers.
"Anybody that's in your vehicle, their life is in jeopardy. Everybody else on the road as well," she added.Young celebrities like Kendall and Kylie Jenner are notorious for snapping while driving. Though they have been constantly slammed by both fans and the media for their foolish decision, they still choose to do so to this day.Despite all of the controversy surrounding Snapchat, the company's CEO, Evan Spiegel, still thinks of his business as just "a camera company." While speaking at Columbia University's #StartupColumbia event on Friday, April 29, Spiegel ran through the key features of the popular app. He noticed that the most popular features are the ability to share photos and videos with your friends in real time.
"Stories blew us away. What was envisioned at the time as an ephemeral profile — this is who I am right now — has become a lot more… To watch the evolution of Stories into more of a broadcasting platform [and] away from just a profile-based concept where it started is very exciting."What are your thoughts on Snapchat? Do you think it should do away with the speed filter? Also, do you agree that the company should be to blame for this near-fatal accident? Sound off below in the comments section.
[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]