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Hand holding phone snapchat in car

Why are people using Snapchat behind the wheel?

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

January 8, 2018

Driving advice News 4 min read

We all love Snapchat, right? Sending a selfie to your friends, or showing what you’re up to on a night out – then regretting it the next day – it’s something almost every teenager and young adult does. Unfortunately, some people now like to whip out their phones and Snapchat whilst they’re driving.

We don’t like to seem bossy, but using your mobile phone when you’re behind the wheel is illegal…

Why is it so dangerous?

Snapchatting whilst you drive is a distraction. If you’re too busy recording yourself singing along to the radio, or showing your friends the speed you’re going, you will miss a lot of what is happening on the road, and this can – and does – cause accidents.

In 2015, a 19-year-old killed another motorist, shortly after sending a Snapchat to his followers.

No one wants to see it

How many of your friends actually care about what you’re listening to on a journey? Probably not many of them. Over Christmas, Twitter seemed to be full of Tweets from young people acknowledging how dangerous this is, and pleading others not to do it.

Snapchat and driving

Source: @vickyirving_

This tweet gained engagement almost as soon as it was posted, showing that many other young people like Vicky, are unhappy that they are still seeing people use Snapchat whilst they’re behind the wheel.

Snapchat and driving

Source: @Erika_Saccone

Erika’s tweet gained a huge following, with a lot of people saying they see this happening regularly and pleading for it to stop.

It is great to see that the warnings of Snapchatting whilst driving are out there and is being spoken about openly by young people. It is alarming, however, that these conversations and tweets need to happen. There is no excuse for Snapchatting whilst driving. You have no concentration, and it could lead to very serious consequences.

The different types of distraction


Visual distractions

Looking at your phone will take your attention away from the road.

Cognitive distractions

Thinking about other matters, and distracting you from the task at hand.

Manual distractions

Typing a message and holding your phone, meaning your hands are off the wheel and you’re not in control.

Taking a photo or recording on Snapchat involves all 3 of these distractions, meaning you have next to no concentration left for the road.

It’s worse than drink driving

Yep, you heard that right.

  • Research shows that the reaction time of someone who is drink driving is slowed by 12%
  • Someone using their phone behind the wheel has a distraction time of 38%!
  • It is therefore more than 3 times worse than behind the wheel whilst over the limit!

Of course, you shouldn’t be doing either of these – but it really puts into perspective how dangerous using your phone when driving really is.

Have you witnessed others Snapchatting whilst driving, or have you done so yourself? We would love to get your thoughts on this over on our Facebook page.

Get involved, and spread this message as far as you can; let’s stop people using Snapchat – and their mobiles in general – behind the wheel.

Chloe Martell profile

By Chloe Martell

'As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!'  See more posts by Chloe

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