Georgia’s hands-free law goes into effect beginning July 1st, 2018, meaning that drivers on Georgia roadways can face increased fines and penalties if caught using an electronic device while driving. While this may go a long way towards reducing a growing trend of distracted driving accidents, another case may also hold an app making company liable, for the first time, for distracted driving.
Snap, Inc. is facing a lawsuit claiming that their application contributed to distracted driving that claimed a life and injured others. Bloomberg News reports.
In a September 2015 accident, Christal McGee was driving her father’s white Mercedes home from work. On her way home, she tried to use Snapchat’s “Speed Filter” to capture a picture of her going over 100 m.p.h.
This is allegedly one of the applications “trophies” that can be earned in the application.
McGee crashed into Wentworth Maynard while traveling at 107 m.p.h. Attorneys for Wentworth want to hold McGee, who was 18 at the time of the crash, as well as Snap, Inc., the makers of Snapchat, liable.
McGee is denying her usage of Snapchat at the time of the accident, as is the company.
On June 5th, the lawsuit cleared a major hurdle when a Georgia appeals court granted the lawsuit the permission to go ahead despite a federal law that protects online platforms from being responsible for the content published on the platform.
The reasoning behind allowing the litigation to go forward was that McGee had not actually published the content. She had simply captured an image through Snapchat’s filter with the intention to post it later.
This isn’t the only accident in Georgia that involves Snapchat’s speed filter. Another teen is facing criminal charges over the death of her friend as she tried to use the app to capture driving at high speeds.
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