Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Discusses Apple Putting the Brakes on Distracted Driving

iPhone with app screen open
June 15, 2017
Legally Reviewed By Attorney Rand Spear, Esq.

If a company has the ability to make a dangerous product safer, should it be legally responsible to do so? And if it’s not necessarily legally obligated to make its product safer, is it ethically compelled to install or embed safety features?

Recently, some safety and tech experts have argued that Apple has bowed to mounting pressure to make its smartphones safer behind the wheel. The technology giant was named in a class action lawsuit in early 2017, in which plaintiffs claimed Apple patented the technology necessary to disable its iPhones yet deliberately chose not to install a disabling feature on its devices. In a separate case, plaintiffs filed suit against the company for failing to warn motorists not to use its FaceTime app while driving.

Recently, Apple announced that new versions of its operating system will feature a disabling app that turns phones off when a user is driving.

What Is the ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ Mode?

The appropriately named ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving Mode’ is exactly what it sounds like. When an iPhone user gets behind the wheel, the phone will have the ability to sense when the vehicle is in motion and disable notifications. The feature can also be set to act like a gatekeeper by permitting only specific callers to come through while a user is behind the wheel.

According to an NPR report, eight people are killed each day in distracted driving accidents. Over 1,000 people are injured in distracted driving crashes. And at any given time on U.S. roads, about 660,000 people are using a phone while they drive.

Currently, the majority of states prohibit the youngest drivers from using mobile phones, but just 14 states have laws on the books that ban all drivers regardless of age from using handheld devices behind the wheel. Pennsylvania law prohibits drivers from sending or reading texts, emails, or messages. However, the law does not ban motorists from using a cell phone to talk.

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Discusses Distracted Driving

Philadelphia car accident lawyer Rand Spear explains, “Apple’s new feature is promising, but it isn’t foolproof. News reports state that the Do Not Disturb While Driving setting can be disabled by passengers. Critics point out that the phone has no way of knowing if someone in the vehicle is a driver or a passenger. The setting is a positive step in the right direction, but the best way to avoid a distracting driving accident is to turn your phone off any time you get behind the wheel.”

Contact a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Today

Have you been injured by a distracted driver? These types of accidents have increased significantly in recent years. Don’t let someone else’s carelessness stop you from enjoying life to its full potential. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Discuss your options and the next steps in your case with Philadelphia and New Jersey car accident lawyer Rand Spear today at 1-877-GET-RAND.