Florida. Apple has made the news recently, but not for its latest technological innovation. Instead, it has made the news for its failure to deploy technology it already owns. According to Fortune, Apple currently has technology that could prevent drivers from texting and driving while they are behind the wheel. Apple has received several lawsuits recently, claiming that the company is negligent for distracted driving accidents because it has the technology to prevent them, but does not use it. A lawsuit in California claims that Apple’s failure to deploy a feature that would lock out users while driving is in violation of California’s consumer protection laws.
Apple filed a patent for a feature that would allow a user’s iPhone to detect motion and lock out the user when the user is driving or inside a moving vehicle. While many state laws prohibit texting and driving, some claim that the temptation to check one’s phone while driving is simply too great to resist. The brain is hard-wired to compel us to check our phones. Only the most self-controlled among us can resist.
Cell phone companies and cell providers openly acknowledge the risk that texting and driving poses to the general public. It is also well known that laws prohibiting texting and driving do little to prevent people from engaging in the deadly and dangerous practice. Some claim that technology is the solution. Proponents of the lock out technology claim that it can save lives by creating a fail safe whereby drivers simply would not be able to use or check their phones while driving. Personal injury lawyers like the attorneys at Probinsky & Associates see accidents where distracted driving may have played a role. Restricting cell phone use could potentially prevent many accidents every year. While some legal experts claim that the lawsuit against Apple isn’t likely to succeed, the technology seems capable of preventing injuries and accidents.
Why then, won’t Apple use the new technology? According to the President of the National Safety Council, companies and the government just don’t want to take the decision out of citizens’ hands. An article in the New York Times notes that cell phone companies are worried that customers won’t take too kindly to the idea that their service could be blocked while they are driving. In fact, the first company to block service or install the technology could lose customers. How many people will think twice about buying an Apple if Samsung promises to work in all conditions?
Until lawmakers require companies to use the technology, or consumers demand it, thousands of people will continue to die due to distracted driving. At the end of the day, economic interests are taking priority over lives and safety. Until the government and companies acknowledge that individuals often behave compulsively with regards to their phone use, more drivers and passengers will die. Addiction researchers have found that checking text messages gives individuals a small rush of dopamine. Essentially, compulsive phone checkers are addicts.
Until the laws catch up with the science regarding cell phone use, we’re likely to see more people die. Phone companies, cell phone service providers, and the government have made it clear: responsibility lies with the drivers. Lawsuits and personal injury claims brought on by injured victims can hold drivers accountable when they break the law. Probinsky & Associates work hard to protect the rights of victims, while also raising awareness of the financial, social, and personal toll of distracted driving.
Visit https://www.probinskylaw.com to fill our a free case evaluation form or speak to an attorney about your case.