The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on April 26, 2016

Only in America: Car accident victim sues Snapchat for its role in high-speed crash

Only in America: Car accident victim sues Snapchat for its role in high-speed crash
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

The victim of a car accident is suing Snapchat after his Mitsubishi was rear-ended by a Mercedes traveling in excess of 100 mph.

The plaintiff, Wentworth Maynard, was struck “so violently [the car] shot across the left lane and into the left embankment,” according to his lawyers.

The driver of the speeding Mercedes, Christal McGee, told police that she “wanted to post an image of herself going fast” and that she was “just trying to get the car to 100 miles per hour to post it on Snapchat.”

Snapchat has a number of filters that allow users to add effects to photos and videos — one of them being a speedometer that tracks speed and records it in a photo or video. McGee, according to a passenger in her car, hit 113 mph before hitting Maynard at 107.

Credit: CNN Money

While Snapchat was definitely involved in the collision, is it really fair to say that an application caused the accident? The technology, after all, already resides on the dashboard of every car on the planet and Snapchat’s app is built for a device you’re not supposed to be using while driving anyway.

Blaming an app for misuse by someone that should have known better is a slippery slope, and one that would open up hundreds — even thousands — of other apps to similar litigation.

If she attempted the same speed while recording it in a ‘Live Video,’ would Facebook be responsible?

And speaking of responsible, the responsible party, Christal McGee, proceeded to ‘snap’ another memory on her way to the hospital, this one in the back of an ambulance with blood covering her face.

The caption? “Lucky to be alive.”