Distracted Driving: The Use of Snapchat Behind the Wheel
Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps available today. However, the photo app is also used at an alarming rate while driving. The practice is especially common amongst younger, more inexperienced drivers, with Snapchat being the number one most-used app while driving among 11th and 12th graders, with 38 percent of the age group admitting to using the app while driving.
Why is Using Snapchat While Driving so Dangerous?
Using Snapchat while driving is a prime example of distracted driving, which happens any time you take your attention away from the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three types of distractions exist that are dangerous when driving:
• Visual distractions, which involve taking your eyes off of the road;
• Manual distractions, in which you take your hands off of the wheel; and
• Cognitive distractions, where you take your mind off of driving and focus on something else.
Using Snapchat while driving creates a particularly dangerous type of distraction because it causes all three types of distractions; you must take your eyes off of the road to look at the phone screen, take your hands off of the wheel to take a picture, and take your mind off of driving when looking at and responding to someone else’s photos.
What Types of Damages Could I Receive from a Distracted Driving Lawsuit?
If you were injured in a car accident and you believe the at-fault driver was using Snapchat while driving instead of paying attention to the road or was otherwise distracted, you may be able to recover damages from the at-fault driver for your injuries. Damages that may be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit for distracted driving include:
• Medical expenses (such as hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, and medical supplies);
• Pain and suffering experienced during and after the accident (including emotional distress such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety);
• Lost wages (including loss of future earning capacity as a result of not being able to work due to permanent disability); and
• Loss of companionship.
If a jury determines that the at-fault driver’s actions leading to the distraction were particularly reprehensible, then punitive damages may also be awarded, which are intended to punish the at-fault driver for causing the distraction and deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
Injured by a Distracted Driver? Let Us Help You Today!
If you have been injured in a car accident by a driver who was using Snapchat instead of paying attention to the road and are thinking about filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately. In order to have a chance of pursuing a personal injury claim in South Carolina, you must file within the three-year statute of limitations, meaning that you must bring your claim within three years after the accident occurred. You don’t have to fight your case alone—our car accident lawyers at the Lovely Law Firm are here to help you win the compensation you deserve. To schedule an absolutely free case evaluation, please call (843) 839-4111 today.
Distracted driving statistics: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Research/Crash+Avoidance/Distraction
Top distracting app: http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/snapchat-instagram-lead-the-list-of-apps-that-distract-teen-drivers.html