A Texas product liability lawsuit alleges that technology giant Apple knew its phones would be used for texting and did not prevent a Texas driver from texting dangerously. In 2013, the driver was allegedly distracted by reading texts while speeding down a highway. The result was an auto accident in which 2 people were killed and a child left paralyzed.
Legal experts agree that the suit is unlikely to succeed but the case revealed evidence that Apple has a patent for technology specifically designed to stop texting while driving - but has not yet implemented it.
Apple filed for a patent in 2008 for a technology that would use sensors to determine if the phone is moving and in use by a driver. In that case, the system would lock out certain functions like texting. The patent was granted in 2014 but it is unclear whether Apple has fully developed the technology.
Can Technology Prevent Texting While Driving?
Apple and other companies like AT&T and Verizon currently offer manual methods to avoid texting while driving, but the decision is still in the hands of the driver. Their position is that text-blocking technology is unreliable and still in the infant stage. As yet, they are unable to shut down a driver's access to texting without, for example, incorrectly shutting down a passenger's phone or the phone of someone riding in a taxi or on a bus.
So far the best these firms have done to prevent texting while driving is manual - in other words, written warnings in instruction manuals. It's a complex issue, because drivers may not want their service blocked, even though texting while driving is illegal in 46 states - including Florida.
Don't Text and Drive
In 2015 there were more than 5,500 crashes in Orange County that involved distracted driving. These accidents resulted in more than 3,000 injuries and 13 fatalities (Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles report). Most if not all of these crashes could have been prevented if drivers obeyed Florida law and avoided texting - even just glancing at texts - while driving.
Play it safe while driving:
- Turn your phone off
- Put your phone in the back seat or in the glove compartment
- Switch to airplane mode
- Use silent mode
There will be plenty of time to read and reply to texts when you reach your destination.
For more information on avoiding distracted driving including tips for parents and teens, visit Distraction.gov.
We Can Help If You Have Been in an Auto Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident or any other type of personal injury, you need an attorney with the right experience in these cases. We will work hard for you and pursue compensation for your physical and emotional injuries. Please call The Francis Law Group for a free consultation. Attorney Tony Francis, personal injury attorney in Orlando, will fight to get you the compensation that you and your family deserve. You can reach us at 407-363-9939 or contact us via the website.