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Snapchat Spectacles Safety Dangers

Snapchat, now called Snap Inc., has created a pair of sunglasses that let users record video and easily upload them to the Snapchat app. So-called “Snapchat Spectacles” are a wearable device that could change the way users connect with social media sites. Snap, Inc. hopes the Spectacles will allow users to record video more freely, giving them the ability to use their hands while taking videos – without having to strap a GoPro to a helmet. While Snapchat Spectacles are sure to be a fun new way to capture and upload stories, users beware: they are not for use behind the wheel.

Snapping and Driving: A Deadly Combination

Snap, Inc. is no stranger to lawsuits – earlier this year, the company went head-to-head with a plaintiff who accused the company of negligence. The app had a lens that clocked the speed of the user, which unfortunately people used while driving. After one young woman crashed her vehicle into the plaintiff going 107 miles per hour using the Snapchat lens, the app gained national attention for “motivating” users to Snapchat and drive. Although the company had a “Please, do not Snap and drive,” disclaimer prior to app use, many people are not convinced the company did enough to prevent this foreseeable danger.

Now, the Snapchat Spectacles may pose a similar risk to drivers. The wearable device may seem harmless on the surface – a simple pair of sunglasses – but this assumption is misleading and could be deadly. Snapchat Spectacles are not normal sunglasses, and drivers should not use them as such. The Spectacles require a driver to take his or her hand off the wheel and press a small button on the left-hand side of the glasses to record a video. Thus, they are not a hands-free device and pose a major threat to drivers.

However, using your hands isn’t the greatest safety concern – the Spectacles will distract drivers cognitively. To use the Spectacles, a driver will have to think about what he or she is Snapping. This creates a mental distraction that’s equivalent to using a regular smartphone to access the app. Cognitive distractions can reduce a driver’s decision-making, reaction times, and maneuvering abilities.

Young People at Highest Risk with Snapchat Spectacles

Drivers in their 20s – Snap, Inc.’s target audience for the Spectacles – make up about 38% of distracted drivers who use their cell phones in fatal crashes. During any time on the road, an estimated 660,000 people are driving while engaging with electronic devices while driving in the United States. Clearly, modern drivers have a weakness with device-related distractions – particularly younger drivers. Snapchat Spectacles present just another opportunity to remove a driver’s focus from the main task of driving.

The videos one can shoot with the Spectacles may be only 10 seconds long, but in just three seconds a distracted driver drives the equivalent of one football field – blindfolded. Ten seconds of distraction is like crossing more than three football fields without looking. All drivers who wear the Snapchat Spectacles are putting themselves and others at risk by failing to designate full attention to the road. Snapping your commute just isn’t worth a major catastrophic accident.

Protect Yourself and Those Around You

As a driver, it’s your responsibility to drive safely. This includes obeying roadway rules, paying attention to the road, and resisting dangerous distractions. If you get into an accident while using Snapchat Spectacles to record or upload a video, you could face serious liability issues. Injured victims in the accident could sue you for driver negligence – all because you couldn’t wait to Snap until you got home. Even worse than the legal responsibility for a crash is the guilt of knowing your mistake led to someone else’s injury or death. Protect yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road by leaving your Snapchat Spectacles at home. If you are involved in an accident because of someone using their phone while driving, contact the Phoenix car accident attorneys at Cullan & Cullan to see how we can help you.


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