Snapchat’s speed filter blamed for bloody crash


With billions of video views per day, Snapchat has quickly grown in popularity. But one of the app’s filters has now landed the message and image-sharing service in some legal trouble.

An image showing Christal McGee bleeding from her forehead, with the caption ‘Lucky to be Alive,’ was posted to Snapchat moments after her car collided with an SUV.

Attorneys for the crash victim are suing McGee and Snapchat saying the 2015 incident wouldn’t have happened had it not been for the app’s speed filter which records how fast a user is going and shares it with friends. But 18-year-old McGee was driving, with three friends in the car, along this stretch of highway outside Atlanta where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour.

In a lawsuit filed this week attorneys say McGee was driving her father’s Mercedes at 107-miles an hour when she crashed into another car leaving the driver with permanent brain damage.

Lawyers argue the filter encourages dangerous driving.

Snapchat points out it comes with an on-screen warning, writing…”No Snap is more important than someone’s safety. We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving.”

Snapchat’s miles per hour filter was introduced as part of a product update in 2013, but according to Maynard’s lawyers, the app’s user agreement was not updated to include a safety or security clause until March 29, 2016. For Wentworth Maynard and his family, that is far too little, too late.

CBS tried to reach Christel McGee and her parent’s for a statement, but have not heard back. The driver involved in the accident is seeking damages to pay for his medical bills.

© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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