Are Livestream Videos Leading to More Car Crashes?

LAS VEGAS, Nevada. Just this week, an 18-year-old-woman was arrested after allegedly live streamed her car accident and sisters death. According to ABC News, the California teen faces charges for driving while under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Cosmopolitan reports that another teen’s friends watched while the driver livestreamed a 100-mile-per-hour crash. The suspect in this video hit a truck, drove across three lanes, and hit the highway barrier. Police have asked Facebook for a copy of the video to use it as evidence in trial.

Recently, social media services have been adding new features, including allowing individuals to livestream video. Livestream services offered by Facebook and Instagram have recently made the news when individuals have filmed newsworthy events. For instance, Facebook’s livestream feature proved crucial in the recent police shooting of Philando Castile. And now, in recent weeks, we see another case where one woman is dead and the accident was captured on Instagram’s livestreaming service.

Providers of these services tout the ability of live video to bring people closer together and build stronger communities, but are these new services creating situations where drivers may be more likely to take risks behind the wheel? While the technology is so new that there aren’t many studies on how livestream videos impact teen risk-taking, it is evident that teens are using these services in settings where they could become distracted. One Dutch study published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence found that social media could have an impact on teen risk-taking behaviors. When teens were actively and passively discouraged from taking part in risky behaviors, they were less likely to engage in risky actions. Social media networks can create social supports for either positive risk-management culture or for a culture that promotes risk.

So, what can parents do to protect their teens? See what kind of content friends are posting on your teen’s feed. If the content displays risk-taking behavior, then your teen may be more likely to engage in similar behaviors. Talk to your teen about the dangers of texting and driving and filming themselves behind the wheel, and institute a strict “no phone” policy for the car. Finally, parents should also set a good example for their teens. If teens see you putting away your phone when driving, they may be more likely to do the same.

Stricter laws may not be enough to stop distracted driving behaviors. Some companies and experts have suggested that it is the responsibility of technology companies to disable cell phone and in-car entertainment technology while the car is in motion. While some technology currently exists, it is not in widespread use. Until major changes are made, we are likely to continue to see injuries and wrongful deaths from distracted driving.

If you or a loved one was injured due to the distracted driving behaviors of another driver, you may be entitled to seek a recovery for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Truman Law Firm, P.C. in Las Vegas, Nevada are personal injury lawyers who work closely with victims and families to help them seek the justice they may deserve under the law. You may only have a limited amount of time to make a claim under the law. Visit us at http://trumanlawfirm.com/ to protect your rights and seek the justice you and your family may deserve.