Technology has been always a form to improve communities and even entire nations, and also a way to measure how well a nation is doing or how advance it is. It had been used in all types of jobs or things to improve human’s life, but nowadays in some cases, instead of technology being more than been helpful, it has become an issue. Two of many improvements about technology had been its way of communication and transport. Nowadays exist the smartphones and even smart cars that are supposed to make our life easier and convenient, but in the last couple of years, many accidents have occurred, due to people not using smart phones and cars the way that they should have. I have read about some individuals who have engaged in Snapchat and used a self-driving feature and have gotten into accidents that have killed other innocent people.
Those smart phones and smart cars are a great tool to improve our life such as smartphones are becoming the best way of wireless communication and multiple functions but its incorrect use or inappropriate had cause several accidents or even deaths. On the other hand, smart cars are a new technology that offers to drive its self without human supervision or support, but this is also causing several problems that have resulted in severe damage.
An article by Hope King entitled “Snapchat Speed Filter Blamed for 107-MPH Highway” Accident” highlights how technology can have devastating consequences for people when it is abused. According to King, “Snapchat has a filter that lets people share how fast they’re traveling while they take selfies” (King 1). A man named Wentworth Maynard was hit by a driver named Christal McGee who was using snapchat on the highway, Maynard ending up with brain injuries. He is lucky that he did not die. McGee had been traveling about 107 mph and was also injured. Said King, “McGee was allegedly driving the car that struck him. The lawsuit says that she was on her phone trying to use the Snapchat speed filter at the time of the accident” (King 1). Maynard is suing McGee for the accident, Maynard getting a traumatic brain injury from the accident. While Snapchat can be fun, using it to speed and show it to other people is irresponsible and out of control. In the case of Maynard and McGee, the misuse of new technology resulted in an almost lethal situation and permanent brain damage to Maynard. That is unfair and should not have occurred. Maynard did nothing to deserve his situation.
McGee did admit that she was speeding and using Snapchat to get a photo of herself, which shows that she is taking responsibility for her actions. Yet, she should also be made to pay for the damages to Maynard and maybe even do some community service for her actions. McGee should speak to young students and drivers and warn them about the dangers that can happen due to driving recklessly and not using proper judgment when operating a motor vehicle. Instead of caring about herself and other drivers, she wanted to look cool and be shown on a social media website so that her buddies could see it. How cool is it to hurt somebody else and yourself? In some ways, social media websites can make people resort to dangerous actions in order to get noticed and to gain some sort of status. McGee also posted a photo her herself on Snapchat while she was in the ambulance, which is unbelievable after how she crashed.
The article “A U.S. Investigates Fatal Tesla Crash, Company Defends Autopilot System” discusses how a new feature in the Tesla cars that is an autopilot system may have ended up causing a fatal car crash that killed a person. Said Vlasic, “The autopilot system has been the subject of a federal investigation since regulators revealed in late June that the driver of a Tesla Model S sedan, Joshua Brown, was killed on May 7 when his vehicle crashed into a tractor-trailer in Florida” . The article states that misuse of the autopilot system may have been the real cause of the accident. Brown did not appear to step on the brakes or stop the vehicle. This points to a possible negligence on the part of Brown. In spite of the vehicle being able to drive itself with the autopilot on for about 180 seconds, the driver must also take on some responsibility to control the car. This includes being aware of inclement weather conditions and adjusting to it, as well as slowing down when needed. Misusing this feature may have contributed to the fatality.
The accident has also caused some controversy on whether self-driving vehicles should even be in operation right now. Some people think that they cause more harm than good. While this feature in the Tesla car was designed to increase safety and to make things better, some young people have become too confident and have not used enough common sense. Many young drivers think that the self-driving car will do all of the driving for them and that the driver can out their attention somewhere else (Vlasic 3). For instance, some drivers may text, call someone, or even read a book while putting the self-driving feature on. That is an inaccurate way to use the feature and can result in a loss of lives.
New technology, in spite of its potential to be good and make things more convenient, often backfires. As you can see, the article about the Christal Mcgee, who drove at about 107 mph on the highway, so she could get a picture on Snapchat shows how technology can be misused. While McGee was lucky that nobody was killed in the accident, another driver suffered a traumatic brain injury, due to her reckless irresponsible actions.
I think McGee’s actions point to a deeper problem in society. Many young people feel entitled and do whatever they want to do in life, regardless of the possible consequences that may happen. They are often quite immature and seem to only want to do what is fun and pleasurable in the moment. If I had acted the way McGee did, my parents would not let me drive until I was 25 years old. These kids are forgetting that their actions affect other people. I think that McGee should lose her license and not be able to get it back for three years. She needs to earn that right and not endanger other people.
While the self-driving feature accident in the Tesla car is still under investigation, if Brown did misuse the feature, it is just another opportunity to educate people about driving. I do not even think that a self-driving feature should be in cars. It just encourages drivers to turn their attention away from the wheel that can cause lost lives and even death, as was the case with Joshua Brown. These types of death seem so senseless and sad.
I also feel that kids should not be able to get their license until they are older, about 18 years old. There is much research that states that young people are impulsive and do not always make the best choices. Why put young drivers in that situation then? Waiting a couple years to get a license could make a difference and result in less accidents. We need to rethink what we do as a society and how technology can backfire. Then, we can make the right decisions that will keep society safe.
- King, Hope. “Snapchat Speed Filter Blamed for 107-MPH Highway Accident.”CNN. Cable News Network, 26 Apr. 2016. Web. 14 July 2016.
- Vlasic, Bill, and Neal E. Boudette. “As U.S. Investigates Fatal Tesla Crash, Company Defends Autopilot System.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 12 July 2016. Web. 14 July 2016.