Apple has not been having the best time lately. And that’s because of distracted driving.
According to a series of news reports, Apple has been named in two lawsuits regarding distracted driving. One involves a family whose 5-year-old child was killed in a distracted driving crash. The driver following behind them was using Apple’s FaceTime, prompting him to not notice he was traveling too fast. The vehicle then slammed in the back of the family’s car, exposing one of their children to deadly injuries.
The second and most recent lawsuit has acquired a class-action status.
Reports indicate that a man from California sustained a back injury after being involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver. He filed the class-action lawsuit claiming that he’s just one out of many whose auto crash-related injuries can be traced back to distractions caused by Apple applications. The suit alleges that Apple is responsible for 52,000 auto crashes across the state, with 312 people dying as a result.
Both suits allege that the company has been holding on to patents that could prevent drivers from using their phones while behind the wheel. This patent, they allege, has been in Apple’s possession since 2014. Unfortunately, the company seems to have failed to implement. According to the plaintiffs in both suits, that’s due to the company’s preference to put profits ahead of consumer safety.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that tech companies create features that restrict use when vehicles are in motion. They also urge companies with these features to make use of it. While many legal experts believe that it may be hard for plaintiffs to obtain verdicts in their favor, others believe that the fact the NHTSA recommends the implementation of these technologies may help their cases in court.
While both lawsuits target the tech giant Apple, they are unrelated. Nevertheless, it’s important to raise awareness to this problem.
Smartphones are now more popular than ever. And if drivers are using their smartphones even while behind the wheel, distraction levels will rise. When distracted, drivers fail to pay attention to risks, and are less likely to respond promptly to emergencies, making collisions more likely. While we do not have detailed information on these lawsuits, we do hope that the simple mention of the issue will raise awareness.
Drivers who own iPhones or other types of smartphones should seek apps that block their devices while the vehicle is in motion in order to avoid distracted driving crashes.
For more on these lawsuits, follow this link.