A texting lockout feature for drivers may have helped drivers avoid car accidents.
Distracted driving is on the rise, and it’s no secret that smartphones frequently a factor. With tiny computers in our pockets, purses, or on the seats next to us, it’s no surprise that many people are regularly engaged in dangerous driving behavior. But a new lawsuit alleges that the maker of one of the most popular brands of smart phones, the iPhone, could have prevented distracted driving if it had chosen to release a feature to prevent texting and driving.
Apple was recently sued in Los Angeles in a class action lawsuit for failing to install this feature in its smartphones. A class action suit occurs when a group of people with similar claims joint together to file a single lawsuit. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit were all injured in car accidents when other drivers were using their iPhones while driving. They claim that Apple developed the technology to prevent people from texting while driving in 2008, and received a patent for it in 2014 — but failed to roll it out to their smartphones. The lawsuit states that Apple’s failure to install this technology was the cause of these accidents. A separate lawsuit in Santa Clara was filed against Apple on the same basis. In that case, a 5 year old was killed when a 20 year old man using FaceTime rear-ended a car.
Distracted driving has been a major problem in the United States for years, with one study from the National Safety Council finding that approximately 25% of all car accidents in the U.S. involved a texting driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting and driving is six times more dangerous than drunk driving. 40% of the smartphones in the United States are Apple iPhones, so the theory is that if Apple had installed this technology into its phones, a significant number of accidents — including fatal accidents — could have been prevented.
This case may be difficult to prove, as the plaintiffs will have to prove that Apple knew that accidents were a reasonably foreseeable result of not installing the technology, and that Apple breached its duty of care by not installing it. They would then have to show that Apple’s breach of its duty caused the accidents in their cases, and that they suffered harm as a result. It may be difficult to show this last part, as Apple could point to the actions of the drivers as the true cause of the accidents.
Distracted driving is a major problem on our roadways, and one that causes far too many accidents. Car accident attorneys see numerous cases involving severely injured victims of distracted drivers. Any technology that may prevent the use of apps and text messaging while a car is in motion and that would only allow for emergency calls could potentially save lives.
If you have been injured by a negligent distracted driver, contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys will work with you to ensure that you get the best possible recovery for your injuries. We offer free initial consultations, where we will explain your rights and options. We have recovered more than $2 billion dollars for our clients, and have a 95% success rate. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for our clients.