Facebook Live and Distracted Driving

Technological advancements are credited for many of the safety improvements in automobiles, but technology isn’t always a positive. The advancement of mobile devices, such as cell phones, has created a new danger while behind the wheel. Over the last few years, countless campaigns have been created with a goal of lessening the use of mobile devices while behind the wheel. While some may have worked, the dangers still exist. One of the most recent technological advancements is that of live streaming.

Earlier this month, a twenty-year-old driver in Rhode Island was involved in a serious automobile accident while streaming on Facebook Live. He reached speeds of up to 118 mph and slammed into a garbage truck, causing the driver to cross over three lanes and crash into the highway barrier. The Facebook Live video showed him listening and singing to music, flipping the camera back and forth between himself and the speedometer, and veering in and out of lanes before hitting the truck. Fortunately, he survived – but with serious injuries.

On Wednesday morning, two teenagers in Pennsylvania were involved in a fatal car accident while they were streaming Facebook Live. The video revealed bright lights of a tractor trailer before it crashed into the back of their vehicle. The video also included the sound of screeching tires and voices after the accident. While fault is yet to be determined in the accident, the video is likely to be used as evidence.

The advancements in technology we’ve witnessed in recent years is exciting, but can be chilling in situations like these. Live streams and video footage may allow for a better understanding of what happens in auto accidents, but it can also lead to distracted driving crashes.

Distractions don’t always serve as the direct cause of an accident, but studies rank distracted driving high on the list of fatal accidents. Distractions contribute to slower reaction times and leave drivers less-aware of their surroundings. Cell phones, the radio, and passengers are just a few examples of distractions that can cause accidents. Even if your attention is not on the road for a second at most, that’s enough time for a crash to occur.

Distractions can sometimes feel unavoidable while behind the wheel, but it’s important to realize the extreme responsibilities that come with operating a vehicle. No phone call, text, or social media post is worth becoming a crash statistic. For more information on what constitutes distracted driving, call our office or visit our website at awjlaw.com.