Whether its texting, taking selfies on Snapchat or accessing Instagram or Facebook, Australia is quickly developing into a nation of distracted motorists as highlighted by road safety campaigns. As well as the familiar television adverts warning against drink driving and speeding, motorists are now being educated not to use their phones whilst driving in order to avoid motor vehicle accidents.
If you spend just three seconds not looking at the road and you are driving 60km per hour, you are driving blind for 50 meters. As other drivers increase their time not paying attention to what is ahead of them, so does the risk of injury or death to pedestrians, cars or cyclists hit in a crash. Constant use of mobile phones and related social media applications whilst driving has ultimately led to an increase in related motor vehicle accidents.
For instance, on 10 September 2015, an American teenager took Snapchat photographs while driving her father’s car at 180km per hour. She struck another vehicle and the other driver suffered a serious brain injury. He can no longer walk or work again. The injured driver has reportedly instructed lawyers to not only sue the driver at fault, but also Snapchat. The lawsuit alleges that Snapchat should have known that its users were utilising the ‘speed filter’ and not only encouraged them to use it, but also refused to do anything about it.
Is Snapchat legally liable for the reckless and impulsive behaviour of the teenage driver at fault? This has yet to be determined in the American Courts and poses an interesting legal argument.
However, the teenager that caused the motor vehicle accident would be legally responsible for the injuries sustained by the other party. Any motorist that fails to take reasonable care when driving is responsible for the damage they cause to property and to the individuals involved.
If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to compensation. You can contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800 or by making an online enquiry, to obtain friendly advice about your circumstances from one of our compensation experts.
Written by Vladana Vracar.
Vladana Vracar is a Solicitor in Julie Mahony’s Practice Group. Vladana works with Julie on a variety of compensation claims including trips slips and falls, accidents on the road and medical negligence claims.