There have been numerous instances of teenagers using social media while driving. A 17-year old from Washington rolled her car while she used Snapchat behind the wheel. A young Brazilian girl took selfies of herself on Snapchat before she got in a wreck going 110 miles per hour. One Snapchat user from Manchester, England got in a car crash while using Snapchat that resulted in a fatality. That man was sentenced to a six-year jail sentence. A Snapchat car crash is a dangerous affair, and all of these collisions could have been avoided had the drivers not been on the app.
It is vital for people of all ages today to know the dangers of being on their smartphones while behind the wheel. Parents need to teach their children about the risks and take steps to prevent those kids from doing something reckless. When everyone works together, there never has to be another Snapchat accident again.
The Risks of Using Social Media While Driving
Drivers should not be on their phones at all while driving. That means no texting, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat. One problem that makes drivers more likely to be on Snapchat is the app’s speed filter.
Snapchat has introduced a filter that allows people to show how fast they are going when taking a selfie. In one lawsuit, a driver blamed Snapchat’s filter for another driver hitting him when he attempted to merge onto the highway. The other driver was on her phone at the time of the collision, and she was going well over 100 mph. A judge later dismissed claims Snapchat had any liability for the crash. Snapchat provided a warning that users should not use the filter while driving, but the judge in the case did call on Snapchat to delete it.
In an attempt to make a meme, drivers can pull dangerous stunts when they are on their phones. They may ignore stop signs or traffic lights. They may swerve into other lanes or even jump the curb, potentially hitting pedestrians. Drivers may even rear-end other vehicles because they have not looked at the road for a while. A lot of drivers assume they will be fine because they only use their phones for a couple of seconds at a time. However, a couple of seconds is all it takes to get into a fatal collision.
How Parents Should Talk to Their Kids About Using Social Media While Driving
People of all ages have caused car accidents from using social media. However, teenagers have an increased likelihood of using their phones because they tend to be “plugged in” more than older generations. 26 percent of teenagers have admitted to sending or reading a text at least once while they were driving. Since teens do not have as much experience driving as older individuals, getting distracted is far more likely to result in an accident. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps parents can take to stop their kids from Snapchatting behind the wheel.
First and foremost, parents need to sit down and talk to their kids. They need to make it clear driving is a big responsibility and teenagers need to treat it as such. Additionally, parents need to lead by example. If you talk to your teens about the dangers of texting and driving and then they see you do it, they will not listen to you. If you find yourself checking Facebook or reading a text behind the wheel, then you need to correct your own behavior before you start reprimanding your teens.
A lot of parents can actually use this technology to their advantage. There are plenty of apps available for both iOS and Android devices that will prevent people from using their phones while driving. Here are a few great, free apps you should install on your children’s phones.
- Canary: This app tracks the driver’s phones usage behind the wheel. It also tracks the person’s location and speed, so parents know if their kids are doing anything dangerous.
- Down for the Count: You can actually earn cash when you drive safe with this app. The teenager can create a safe driving pledge, and parents and other relatives can then sponsor the teen’s efforts.
- Lifesaver: This is a basic app that locks a driver’s phone. It automatically locks when going above a certain speed, and it will only unlock when the car comes to a complete stop.
- OMW – On My Way: A common reason why drivers look at their phones is to respond to someone who just texted them to say, “I’m on my way.” With this app, you no longer have to do that. It automatically texts back your friends to provide your location, so they know when you will get there.
- OneTap: This app also sends automatic responses to texts and calls to let people know you are behind the wheel and will be there shortly. It also allows you to connect with friends. You can check in to see if your friends are driving, so you do not call to even tempt them.
Finally, it is paramount for people to talk to the parents of their children’s friends. You may be confident your child will be safe. However, your child may be a passenger in a friend’s car, and the friend is always making car Snapchats. Ideally, everyone in your children’s friend circles should have the same safe driving apps on their phones. With this approach, you can rest easy knowing your child will not get distracted while driving.
End the Use of Snapchat While Driving
Every day, people get on the road with their smartphones in their hands. They have seen the ad campaigns and have heard the warnings that you should not text or go on Snapchat while behind the wheel, and they do it anyway. This information will not reach everyone, but you can at least make sure people in your house remain safe drivers. A Snapchat car crash can result in serious injuries and substantial property damage. Drive safe and remember to put the phone down every once in a while.
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