Who’s to Blame for Texting-While-Driving? California Lawsuit Says Apple is
Apple faces a potential class action lawsuit from the state of California after a user texting-while-driving caused a violent accident. So why does Apple deserve a lawsuit? Who should bear the blame for texting and driving? Who is responsible for creating a solution?
It’s easy to pin all the responsibility on the consumer in these situations. After all, the company isn’t forcing or even encouraging anyone to use their phones on the road. Have you driven anywhere lately? It would take a f*cking act of god to get users to stop texting and driving. And even then, I’m not sure that would work. If there’s a way, people will use their phones while they’re driving.
Sure, we can create laws and dish out heavy fines for anyone who gets caught texting-while-driving. But that only works after-the-fact. It doesn’t preemptively stop people from texting-while-driving. If someone was dicking around on their phone while driving and killed your partner then jail time or fines aren’t going to change the fact that your partner is gone. (Which has happened plenty of times before.)
So how do we fix this? How can we stop people from texting-while-driving? How can we stop tragedies before they happen? Well the Los Angeles court system says Apple finally needs to shoulder the blame. No it’s not just because the driver was using an iPhone. But it’s because Apple has the technology to stop people from texting-while-driving and they refuse to install it on phones. And they’ve been hanging onto it since 2008!
The technology uses motion and scenery sensing to detect when the user is behind the wheel of a car. It’s not exactly clear how they differentiate between passengers and drivers. That’s probably there the sensory detection comes into play. But Apple applied for the patent back in 2008 and was approved in 2014.
The lawsuit filed by by lawyers at MLG Automotive Law halts all iPhone sales until Apple installs the software on phones to prevent texting-while-driving. Failure to install the software is a violation of consumer protection laws. It also says that by failing to implement the software, Apple is allegedly responsible for about 52,000 accidents and 312 deaths each year– just in California!
I didn’t drive for about 3 years: from 2013 to 2016. When I got my license back, I assumed half the people on the road were drunk. Then it hit me (not literally): “oh yeah, phones!” So I mean, what the f*ck right? Why is this not a standard feature on phones yet?
Money of course. Implementing the patented technology will likely cause Apple’s market shares to drop. And everyone knows Apple sets the industry standard. If Apple adds it to their phones, everyone will. From my perspective, this is a good thing. But I’m a consumer (and a driver); I’m not a business owner looking to make a profit.
The lawsuit essentially forces Apple to implement the software if they ever want to see profits again. Next move is your’s Apple…