The COVID-19 pandemic has had dramatic effects American motorists. Beginning early on in April and May 2020, the sharp decrease in drivers across the country, as well as in Illinois, drove the normally stingy car insurance industry to return some of its premium payments back to customers or to give discounts for future premium payments. This occurred because fewer drivers on the road resulted in fewer automobile accidents. Rather than taking advantage of the clear road conditions for safe travel, some Illinois drivers, as well as drivers throughout the United States, have used lesser occupied highways to livestream or videotape themselves driving excessive speeds. This so-called speeding livestream phenomenon has resulted in numerous accidents and fatalities. This type of social media-obsessed behavior poses not only a danger to drivers that are actively livestreaming videos but also to innocent drivers who are sharing the same roadways.
How is live streaming done in vehicles?
According to CNN, Drivers engaging in livestream videos of their high speed escapades generally rely on the use of popular social media apps such as Facebook, YouTube and TickTock to disseminate their content to the public. This means that in addition to driving dangerous, excessive speeds, these drivers are also driving distracted by using their cell phones and other electronic devices. Some of these drivers are using special video cameras specifically made for cars to capture them driving at extreme speeds. While these devices were initially developed for safety reasons, they can also be used to create and share video of high speed races on public roads.
At this point, large technology companies and video equipment manufacturers have not figured out a way to safeguard the use of their products for reckless purposes such as livestreaming high speed driving.
Why do people livestream their speeding?
YouTube is riddled with videos of super fast cars from Ferrari to Maserati routinely achieving speeds in excess of 100 to even 125 miles an hour. These videos have a high appeal on social media platforms especially during the coronavirus pandemic where livestream videos are even more prevalent. In fact, many news outlets have been publicizing the stories and associated accidents. Illinois personal injury accident lawyers have seen an increase in accidents related to these types of livestream videos. The precise mode of failure in all livestream speeding accidents rests with speed, but equipment malfunctions, and uneven road conditions are intensified at high speeds as well.
At the end of the day, these reckless individuals are putting their lives and the lives of other motorists on the line in order to fulfill a selfish desire to acquire 15 minutes of social media fame. Even if livestreamers do achieve recognition or their video receives high hits and views, they can face harsh criminal charges and/or suffer significant life-threatening injuries if and when they lose control of their vehicles.
How can I protect myself from reckless drivers?
The best way to protect yourself from speeders on the roadway who may be distracted with livestreaming is to be vigilant about your own safe driving. The personal injury team at Koester and Bradley has found the following steps helpful in reducing the risk of a personal injury and/or death due to the negligence of others.
Maintain a safe speed that keeps up with traffic but also comports to the posted speed limit signs.
Frequently check your side mirrors and rearview mirror to keep watch for fast-approaching vehicles coming from behind and to the sides of your vehicle.
When possible, spend as much time in the right-hand lane rather than the left-hand passing lane unless you are actively passing a semi-truck or other slow-moving vehicle.
If you see another vehicle, most likely a sports car, traveling at an excessive high rate of speed in your vicinity, consider pulling off the road or using a hands-free device to contact law-enforcement.
Why is an experienced lawyer necessary for reckless driving and speeding cases?
When a negligent driver is acting recklessly and causes injury to another motor vehicle operator on the road, it is often questionable whether or not the defendant driver’s insurance company will pay to defend the driver or compensate the injured parties for their injuries. Insurance companies will take every opportunity to deny claims and not make payments, even if their insured driver is totally at fault. This is due to the existence of certain exclusions in automobile insurance policies which in essence put all drivers on the road at a higher risk of failing to receive compensation. This is why the attorneys focusing on automobile accidents at Koester and Bradley recommend always having uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your motor vehicle.