Car Crash Driver Blames Apple
A Californian resident is reportedly taking legal action against the technology firm, Apple, for failing to prevent him from using his mobile phone whilst driving a car he subsequently crashed.
What started as an individual case has now become a class action in the Supreme Court, stating that Apple is in possession of technology to prevent the phone from being used, and has been since 2008, but refuses to implement the ability as they feel it would give the firm a commercial disadvantage.
The complaint also states that it is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to take responsibility for their own actions in switching off or simply not using their mobile devices, especially given the increased reliance on such items as mobile phones and tablets, sometimes even producing clinical withdrawal symptoms should a user not be allowed to have access.
The complainant is asking Apple to stop selling their products in California until the technology is implemented.
This is not the first lawsuit the company has faced. In 2016, they received a complaint regarding a fatal crash which could have been avoided if the driver was not using their mobile, and therefore could have been avoided if the mobile rendered itself useless.
The system Apple were developing and patented in 2008 was not launched until 2014, and includes a motion sensor which is capable of analysing speed and direction, as well as the capability of detecting the physical position and posture of the person handling the device, so as to determine if they are in a safe zone in the vehicle.
CarPlay and Android Auto are integrated systems that restrict certain functions of the device that may interfere with the driver´s attention, allowing tactile precision, integrated voice control and streaming music without going through the smartphone screen.
In the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a formal request to have a “car mode” installed on devices at the point of purchase. Meanwhile, in the UK, there are calls to make “car mode” obligatory, only allowing navigation and emergency call functions to operate.
Using the phone while driving lengthens reaction times and reduces the field of vision. According to the DGT, talking on the mobile phone increases the risk of having a traffic incident between 4 and 9 times, and is therefore similar to driving with an increase in blood alcohol levels.
All thing considered however, we must also remember that car manufacturers have the ability to limit the maximum speed of a vehicle, and have had that for some time. Inappropriate speed is also one of the main contributing factors to road traffic incidents, and yet there it not a similar call to enforce this.