Phone makers could prevent texting and driving, but will they?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2016 | Car Accidents |

Every day on their way to work or school numerous drivers can be seen with their eyes down, immersed in their phones. The growing issue of texting and driving can be seen everywhere. In fact, the number of people texting and driving have increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014. Recently the public has caught wind that smartphone companies have the capability to put a stop to this problem, yet have not taken action.

Apple is facing a lawsuit from victims of texting and driving

Texting and driving is extremely dangerous at high speeds. Most people take their eyes off the road for five seconds while texting. When traveling 55 mph, 5 seconds would be enough time to cover the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Unfortunately more people are becoming victims to texting and driving accidents. A recent lawsuit filed in Texas has sparked attention to the issue.

A lawsuit has been filed against Apple for product liability by families of the victims of texting and driving. During this case evidence was uncovered that Apple has the technology to prevent texting while operating a moving vehicle. A patent was granted to Apple back in 2014 for a technology designed to lock phones at high speeds to prevent texting and driving, yet they have not used it.

As some smartphone users may know the speed recognition feature is already utilized in many apps. In Snapchat users are able to swipe to a filter which captures your speed on the screen. In another app, Pokemon Go, a notification pops up when the user moves faster than 10 mph, blocking the user momentarily with the message, “Do not use Pokemon Go while driving.” The user can then push a button which says, “I am a passenger.” Would the use of technology like this give text and drivers a second thought?

If the technology is already there, then why not prevent texting and driving?

The question that smartphone companies must be asking is if consumers would tolerate their text messages blocked. Blocking phone use while driving could create a massive consumer backlash, scaring away any one company from utilizing the feature first. Another issue is that the technology cannot currently detect whether the user is a driver or a passenger. This can create major headaches for families on road trips and workers on public transportation. So the question is: would you be ok with it?

For victims of texting and driving the answer is pretty clear. If you or a loved one has been hit by a distracted driver then it is possible to seek justice. Contact an experienced attorney right away.


attorneys Brad Culpepper and Brett J. Kurland