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Snapchat- the Unexpected Danger on Queensland Roads

Snapchat has appeared as one of the unexpected risks for Queensland motorists, with one in six motorists surveyed using Snapchat behind the wheel during a recent QUT survey.

PhD researcher Verity Truelove from QUT’s Center for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland (CARRS-Q) surveyed 503 Queensland motorists aged between 17 and 25 using the renowned social media app while on the road.

Ms Truelove identified 16 percent of survey participants admitted to using Snapchat when driving. For a few, it only involved looking at, and reacting to, messages from others. However, while driving their car, 15 percent of those surveyed said that they had used their phone to send a video or photo using Snapchat.

Snapchat is marginally more popular for young males than young females.

Ms Truelove also reported that the overwhelming majority of those surveyed (71 per cent) said they most typically used it when waiting at a red light, but three per cent said they most frequently used Snapchat while driving at any speed.

Another recurring theme was that most young motorists didn’t believe they would be caught by the police using their devices, which implied that fines aren’t much of a deterrent.

Australia has more than 6 million Snapchat subscribers, with an estimated 2 million users between 18 and 24 years of age. The App is regarded the most popular social media network for young people and is marginally more popular for young males than young females. Snapchat is a visual messaging application, as opposed to a text based Facebook application that uses the mobile phone camera to enable users to share images and videos seconds after receiving them.

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