Snapchat speed filter blamed for 107-MPH highway accident
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Snapchat has a filter that lets people share how fast they’re traveling while they take selfies.
A car accident victim is blaming Snapchat’s speed filter for a crash that left him with traumatic brain injuries, according to a new lawsuit.
The plaintiff, Wentworth Maynard, was merging onto a four lane highway outside of Atlanta, Georgia when his car was struck “so violently it shot across the left lane into the left embankment,” his lawyers contend.
Christal McGee was allegedly driving the car that struck him. The lawsuit says that she was on her phone trying to use the Snapchat speed filter at the time of the accident.
“McGee wanted to post an image of herself going fast. She argued that she was, ‘Just trying to get the car to 100 miles per hour to post it on Snapchat.'” the victim’s lawyers say.
A passenger in McGee’s car said she had hit 113 mph on the Snapchat filter, they added. When the cars hit, the speed was 107 mph, according to the complaint. The speed limit was 55.
“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.
McGee, who was also injured in the accident, apparently also took a Snapchat while she was in the ambulance, on a gurney, with blood on her face.
“Lucky to be alive” was the caption.
Maynard and his wife are now suing McGee and Snapchat to pay for the medical bills. Maynard spent five weeks in intensive care for severe traumatic brain injury treatments. He now needs a walker or wheelchair to get around and cannot work. He was an Uber driver at the time of the accident last year.
The lawsuit also alleges that Snapchat has been aware of previous accidents caused by using the app while driving at high speeds, and yet the company chose not to remove the speed filter.
“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,” attorney T. Shane Peagler said in a statement.
CNNMoney’s attempts to reach McGee were unsuccessful.
A Snapchat spokesman said he could not comment on a pending lawsuit, but added that the app has always included a warning not to use it while driving.