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One of the biggest contributors to car accidents in recent years has been distracted driving. There are many ways that motorists can be distracted behind the wheel, but in the new age of technology, mobile devices have caused increased automobile accidents and deaths on the roadways not just in the Tampa area, but nationwide.

Although it can sometimes be hard to prove the exact cause of an accident, it appears that the recent crash in Tampa — which left five motorists dead — can be traced to excessive speeding while trying to impress fans on SnapChat. A recent post has surfaced on SnapChat which shows the driver of the vehicle going from over 82 miles per hour to 115. The ten-second clip was filmed from the passenger seat.

Just moments before Pablo Cortes III veered off of the median and crashed head-on with a Toyota minivan while driving on E. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the SnapChat was posted by his young co-passenger. Not only did thrill-seeker Cortes lose his life that night; his passenger was killed, as were three other people in the minivan that his car collided with. In the minivan were a mother and her two children, who died instantly. The driver of yet a third car was seriously injured in the fatal crash.

Because of the SnapChat posting, investigators have insight into the events of that fateful evening. Using the video, they are piecing together exactly what they had already surmised: Cortes was at fault while driving at excessive speeds. He was going nearly 50 miles over the posted speed limit when he lost control. The SnapChat video went live just ten minutes before the crash, which makes the evidence that much more compelling.

The video is proof that Cortes was driving recklessly with very little regard not just for his passenger, but for other drivers on the road. What the video has also stirred up is a debate about SnapChat and how it might be the propelling force behind incidents like the fatal crash in Tampa.

SnapChat is a forum that has been implicated in many destructive incidents including bullying. But what is at issue with this particular case is that the app includes a feature that allows videotapes to use a phone’s global positioning system so that users can post videos or photos that display real-time speed information. That has many thrill-seekers trying to “outdo” each other. The feature might be enticing others to continually try to outdo one another.

There are many reasons for vast opposition to the app, but many believe that the additional real-time speed feature encourages those who want to get social media attention to up the ante and drive at excessive speeds, which poses a real public health risk. The real-time speed feature is there for no other reason but to let those who want to prove just how fast they can go — for nothing more than to post it to their social media accounts.

Not only are SnapChat and other similar social media apps a huge distraction while behind the wheel, but the features that SnapChat provides to users (like speed posting) are likely instigators for teenagers who don’t yet have the capacity to see the full potential of their actions or to make sound decisions.

Many lawsuits have been filed by accident lawyer Tampa professionals, against SnapChat and those who have used the app in the past. To take one example, there is a lawsuit currently filed in Atlanta revolving around an accident in September of 2015. This is a high-profile case; the teenager involved in the crash, then 18, was likewise taping her speeding activities, which were clocked at over 113 mph when she collided with another car.

The use of technology while driving is posing a problem for distracted driving and creating an epidemic of accidents stemming from everything from posting to social media to texting and driving. What the American public doesn’t need is for an app to goad young drivers to make poor choices just to impress their friends on SnapChat.

With really no other use, the speed posting is something that is encouraging attention seekers to risk not just their lives, but the lives of others around them. SnapChat and the victims who died because of the speed-feature will both have their day in court, and hopefully, the feature will become a thing of the past.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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The Cheapest Places to Upsize Your Home Revealed

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Does it feel like you’re seriously lacking in space in your current home? Do you find the clutter has taken over your life simply because you don’t have enough storage space? Do you and your family members feel as though you’re living on top of each other with little to no privacy? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then there’s a good chance you’re already convinced it’s time to upsize your home. But what if you can’t or don’t want to upsize the budget? Can you upsize your home in an affordable way?

With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the cheapest places in the UK where you can upsize your home.

Orkney

Top spot goes to Orkney, which is not only a great location for upsizing but offers all kinds of other benefits to residents. It’s here that you’ll be able to take advantage of a bigger living space without having to inflate the budget exponentially.

As an in-depth article by deacon.co.uk – a specialist buildings insurance provider – points out, it is often called the happiest place to live. Residents consistently point out their high quality of living, low crime rates, school class sizes in the primary years are low. It’s rare you’ll find anything that would be classified as a traffic jam, there is plenty of open land and wide-open spaces, and you’ll be treated to some of the most exceptional natural scenery in the world.

Richmond in North Yorkshire

Another great location to research is Richmond in North Yorkshire. It features many of the same draws as Orkney does, but this time you will be located in England. The cost of living is more reasonable than many other areas of the UK, house prices are still affordable, the crime rates are low, and you’ve got a robust nightlife and entertainment scene that you can explore.

Rutland in the East Midlands

If you like that quiet kind of setting that is filled with history and fabulous architecture, then you may want to consider Rutland, which is the smallest county in Britain. There are plenty of rolling hills, the River Welland, a lot of agricultural lands, and is a drivable 164 km from London (ideal for a weekend getaway).

Hambleton in North Yorkshire

Hambleton is located in England’s northern regions with Northallerton being the largest town in the district. The district is dotted with small towns and villages, is known for its agricultural lands, and even got the title as the “best place to live in Yorkshire” a few years back. This title was based on life expectancy, overall health and wellness of residents, personal well-being, weather, crime rates, and employment.

Other Notable Places to Consider

And if you’re still not sold on the places listed, other affordable areas that you can potentially upsize your home include Eden in Cumbria, Westminster, and Richmond-upon-Thames. Each has its own unique personality and list of benefits. No matter which of these locations you pick, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to fulfill your goal of branching out and upsizing your home to something that is more functional and liveable.

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Showing Your Love For Healthcare Workers

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When you know and love a healthcare worker during this difficult time, you may be searching for ways that you can show you appreciation for the hard work that they do. Coming up with some great ideas can seem a little difficult, as many items are inaccessible and restrictions are closing shops and limiting travel. Luckily there are still many ways that you can show your love for the health care workers in your life, as there are several brilliant concepts which you can make the most of to put a smile on their face today. So, if you want to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best suggestions that you can utilise to show appreciation during this difficult period. 

Make Their Life A Little Easier 

One of the best things that you can do for a healthcare specialist that you know and love during this tough period is to attempt to make their life a little easier. Extra long shifts battling against this new virus can have a terrible effect on a person’s mental health, as well as sapping away all of their energy at the same time. This can mean that things like doing their grocery shopping and making meals are often the very last thing on their mind, opening up the perfect opportunity for you to get involved and lend a helping hand. Doing a big food shop that you can take to their home after work will be such an amazing gesture they will no doubt appreciate, whilst going an extra step further to actually cook up a delicious meal that they can enjoy after a long day can put such a huge smile on their face. Be sure to make the most of healthy ingredients including lots of fresh fruit and veg, as they must look after their immune system to stay strong throughout. 

Little Extras 

There are several different little extras that you may want to invest in to show your health care loved ones a bit of appreciation, and you can get these items delivered straight to their home so that you needn’t bother trying to work around social distancing measures to drop off their present yourself. For example, something like a heart badge reel that they can add to their uniform can be a great pick-me-up that they can look down at for a little motivation during their long shifts at work! It’s also a great idea to find some self care activities that they can indulge in, such as a luxurious face mask or bubble bath that they can utilise to get some down time at the end of the day.

Showing your love for the healthcare workers in your life needn’t be as difficult as you might think when you can make the most of the top tips and tricks detailed above! Whether you decide to help them get their grocery shopping, cook a nutritious meal or simple invest in a few little gifts to put a smile on their face – every little helps!

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3 Steps to Becoming a Better Person

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We only get one life so it’s important to live it well, make the most of things and seize opportunities that come your way. If you’re hoping to make the most of your time on earth, here are just three ways you can go about it. 

Be more understanding

We all want to be the best person we can be, and a big part of that is relating to and getting on with other people. But it’s not always in the way we think, we don’t need to make grand gestures, we don’t need to be able to give therapist level advice or be a perfect friend in every sense. The main thing we need to do is be empathetic and understanding- be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It can be easy to be irritated, annoyed or upset if a friend lets you down, cancels plans or does something else undesirable but when you’re understanding you’re able to empathise about why this might be. Maybe they’re busy, have other priorities (as we all do) or double booked themselves. We’re able to cut ourselves slack as we know that we’re only human, do others the same justice. Being understanding doesn’t mean being a doormat and being walked over, you do still need to know when someone is taking advantage. But for the most part, the people in your life won’t be purposely trying to upset you, be more understanding and it’s easy to realise this. 

Find your own spiritual path

Having beliefs in something that matters to you can be a great way to live your life, it seems counterproductive but realising how small you are on this planet and as part of the greater universe can feel reassuring. It means that your problems are also small and often irrelevant, and as a result can help you to just get out there and live your best life. Being spiritual and having beliefs doesn’t have to mean being religious, there are many reasons you might be put off from traditional religion. While it helps many, there’s no denying that it’s also a cause of many wars, there are numerous church abuse lawsuits that have been filed across the globe and to some, it simply doesn’t fit their beliefs. But don’t write off finding greater meaning altogether, find your own spiritual path. This could be anything from numerology to deep meditation to trusting in the universe and it’s signals. Do some research and find a path that suits you. 

Find a good work/ life balance

Work is important, not only does it give your life purpose but it allows you to earn the money you need to have the lifestyle you want outside of work. Most of us have no choice but to work, but it’s easy to go overboard with it. Maybe you’re passionate about your job or are just a bit of a workaholic, take a step back. Find the balance between work and life such as travel, family, pets and hobbies. You’ll be much happier for it.

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