The lawsuit describes a 2015 incident in which driver Christal McGee allegedly increased her driving speed in order to see the reading on Snapchat’s speed filter get above 100 mph. The complaint alleges that Snapchat was, or should have been, aware of the danger caused by people looking at the speed filter while driving, yet did nothing to remove or change it.
Victims Wentworth and Karen Maynard were driving in their car when McGee collided with them at about 107 mph in a 55 mph zone, CNN Money reported. Wentworth suffered “permanent brain damage,” according to the complaint.
The suit alleges that Snapchat is partially responsible for the wreck and should help pay for damages. “Snapchat’s speed filter facilitated McGee’s excessive speeding,” it states. “McGee was motivated to drive at an excessive speed in order to obtain recognition through Snapchat by means of a Snapchat ‘trophy.'”
A woman in Brazil documented a car accident she caused while she was using Snapchat and driving in 2015, according to the law firm representing the plaintiffs.
A press release on the firm’s website also mentions Snapchat’s “points” and “trophies,” indicating they played a role in the girl’s actions, though there are no trophies related to the speed filter.
“No Snap is more important than someone’s safety,” a Snapchat spokesperson said in a statement. “We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving, including by displaying a ‘Do NOT Snap and Drive’ warning message in the app itself.”
Snapchat’s terms of service states: “Do not use ours services in a way that would distract you from obeying traffic or safety laws. And never put yourself or others in harm’s way just to capture a snap.” The filter itself contains a small warning that says “don’t snap and drive.”