Recent lawsuits have targeted Apple for car accidents caused by iPhone distractions
Using a smart phone is a common cause of distracted driving accidents. But is this the smart phone manufacturer’s fault, or the driver’s fault?
In recent years, several lawsuits have asked this question. For example, last year plaintiffs brought a case against Apple on the grounds that the company was causing car accidents by not automatically disabling drivers’ iPhones. In August, the case was dismissed by the US District Court in Texas. The judge in the case maintained that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by her own negligence in failing to safely operate her vehicle.
In this sense, using an iPhone is the same as any other type of distraction, such as eating, drinking, or smoking. No one would argue that it is a food, drink, or cigarette manufacturer’s fault when a driver chooses to use their product behind the wheel and causes an accident. Why not? Perhaps because these kinds of distractions are impossible for the manufacturer to prevent.
Using an iPhone while driving, however, may be something that could be prevented with the right technology. For example, in a class action lawsuit filed by California resident Julio Ceja in January, the plaintiffs argue that because Apple has deliberately chosen not to implement at lock-out mechanism that would prevent iPhone use while driving, the company should be held liable for any resulting accidents and injuries. The plaintiffs mentioned technology that could detect whether an iPhone is in motion and at what speed. Paired with a scenery analyzer to determine the location of the user—driver’s seat or other seat—the technology could disable drivers’ iPhones once a certain speed is reached.
Of course, Apple maintains that it is a driver’s responsibility to avoid distractions while behind the wheel. Apple offers many features to help reduce the potential for a driver to be distracted by an iPhone, such as Airplane Mode, Silent Mode, and Do Not Disturb While Driving Mode, all of which can be used to mute incoming calls, texts, and notifications and keep the iPhone’s screen dark to minimize distraction.
Have You Been Injured by a Distracted Driver?
If you have been involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you should be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering from that driver, without worrying about the additional complication of suing the manufacturer of the product that distracted them. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we’ve successfully handled thousands of distracted driving accident cases, and we will fight for you as your car accident injury attorney. To learn more, please call us at 800-333-0000 now.