Filter this: Snapchat blamed for high speed accident

The Snapchat logo. © Eric Thayer
Snapchat is being held responsible for the traumatic brain injury of a Georgia man whose vehicle was struck by another driver going at 107 miles per hour while using the video and image sharing app.

Wentworth Maynard, a former Uber driver, was attempting to merge into four lanes of traffic on an Atlanta highway in September when his vehicle was struck by a car going at over 100 miles per hour, CNN Money reported. The car was driven by Christal McGee, who was putting the pedal to the metal for the sake of one cause: Snapchat.

Snapchat’s speed filter measures the speed that a vehicle is traveling at while the user takes a photo or video. Unlike Instagram or Facebook, Snapchat allows you to share your content exclusively with your contacts list and not in public. The social media app gives “trophies” to users that use the speed filter.

Maynard’s car was struck, "so violently it shot across the left lane into the left embankment," his lawyers told CNN Money. A passenger in McGee’s vehicle claims that the car had reached speeds of up to 113 miles per hour (181 kilometers per hour) before the crash. The speed limit for the highway was 55 miles per hour.

According to the complaint, the accident was a result of McGee’s use of Snapchat.

"While [she] was distracted and on her phone, McGee did not notice that a gray Mitsubishi, driven by Maynard Wentworth, had pulled out onto the road," the complaint says.

Maynard and his wife are now looking to hold both McGee and Snapchat responsible for the accident. As a result of the traumatic brain injuries he suffered, Maynard spent five weeks in intensive care and requires a walker or wheelchair to stay mobile.

We’ll see to it that Christal McGee is held responsible, but we also want to see Snapchat held responsible,” T. Shane Peagler, an attorney for Maynard, said in a statement.

This is a product liability case because Snapchat put something very dangerous in the marketplace without any warnings or safeguards, and basically said, whatever happens, happens,” Peagler added.

Snapchat cannot comment on the case due to ongoing litigation. However, the speed filter has recently added a warning, saying, “Please, DO NOT Snap and drive.

When McGee decided to floor it for the Snapchat, she did so with three passengers in her vehicle. New York Daily News reported that it is not certain whether McGee or her passengers were injured in the crash. 

If nothing else, McGee did get a share-worthy Snapchat out of the whole ordeal. After the accident, she posted a picture of herself in an ambulance gurney with blood running out of her head and the caption “lucky to be alive.”