4 min read
The numbers don't lie when it comes to distracted driving.
A single look won’t hurt, right? You’ll slow down and steer with one hand.
Now that you think about it, maybe you’ll send a response.
You’ve done it before. You can handle it again, right?
If you’re on the road and occupied by Snapchat, you should put down the phone and invest in a few distracted driving apps. Here are a few reasons why.
- Why Is Snapchat an Issue?
- Bad Outcomes and Lawsuits
- Social Media Gone Wrong
- Apps to Replace Snapchat While Driving
Why Is Snapchat an Issue?
According to Statista, 70% of Internet users between the ages of 18 and 24 use Snapchat. This is really scary when you consider drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times more likely to be in a fatal car crash when compared to drivers who are 20 or older.
Bad Outcomes and Lawsuits
Not every distracted driving crash ends in death, but there are other bad outcomes to consider.
In 2015, 18-year-old Christal McGee was driving a Mercedes-Benz C230 with two passengers along for the ride. According to a pending lawsuit, McGee used a Snapchat speed filter to see how fast she could get her car to go.
The lawsuit says she had Snapchat running when her C230 struck the vehicle of Wentworth Maynard. He claims he suffered permanent brain damage, and he sued Snapchat and McGee.
Social Media Gone Wrong
Young people feel peer pressure to take social media challenges. It’s a game to see who gets the most likes, shares, and comments. Does anyone really win, though?
Think about the “In My Feelings” challenge. It started off with a few dancers recording their best steps in a tribute to Drake. It ended with drivers jumping from cars to show off their choreography (usually while the car was still rolling down the street).
Yikes. We get it. Social media is fun, and that includes Snapchat.
But think about the Christal McGee case and the following catastrophes the next time you want to use any app while driving:
2017: 56-year-old Philip Ilg was on a bike ride when a 17-year-old distracted driver struck and killed him.
2017: 21-year-old Lakin Ashlyn, a young mother, flipped her car and died as she was using Snapchat.
2019: 25-year-old Bryce McDade-Peters was using Snapchat when he slammed into a vehicle at an intersection and flipped his car.
Apps to Replace Snapchat While Driving
Snapchat is a distraction, and so is your phone. Check your phone’s software and the following apps to become a safer driver.
1. Check Your Phone Software
Whether you use an iPhone or Android device, most newer cell phones have an option to turn on a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode.
When you turn on this feature, it will disable most of your notifications until you’re done driving. One option allows your phone to send an autoresponse to anyone who tries to get in touch with you through text.
This article from USA Today includes instructions for turning on and using the “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode for iPhone and Android devices.
AT&T offers a free DriveMode app for both iOS and Android. It automatically turns on when you reach 15 MPH, silences calls and alerts, and lets parents know if a teen driver disables the app.
Lifesaver is an easy-to-use app that:
- Blocks use of your phone while you’re driving
- Lets parents know when a family member is driving
- Lets parents know when a family member driver has arrived at a destination
The Zubie app provides a wealth of information, including:
- Recommendations to improve driving habits
- Behavior alerts that signal bad driving habits and potential wrecks
- Speed limit comparisons
Is a life worth the risk of using Snapchat for a few seconds? Never.
If you want to show your friends and family that you’re taking a stand against distracted driving, use the “I Won’t Snap and Drive” Snapchat filter.
The fight to end distracted driving starts with you. Download our Focus to the Finish contract and commit to distraction-free driving.