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Are Phone Makers Enabling Distracted Drivers?

A man driving while texting in the car

A recent fatal car accident between a passenger car and pick-up truck, led the family of those killed in the accident to sue Apple Corporation.

Why?

The plaintiff’s are arguing that Apple has the technology to block cell phone use while driving but does not deploy it.

Does the case against Apple have a chance in Court?

Most legal experts seem to think not, citing the difficulty in claiming the phone itself was to blame for the accident.

But do Apple and the other phone companies actually have the technology to block phone use during the act of driving?

Yes.

Apple does have a patent for such technology. The patent, granted in 2008, would create technology to “lock out” a driver’s phone by using sensors to determine if the phone was moving and in use by a driver. If so, it would prevent certain functions, like texting.

So why hasn’t this technology been deployed?

Some traffic safety experts think they know. They believe it’s because the big phone companies are fearful that if they deploy these technologies, they will lose customers to companies that do not. For the telephone industry – one of the scariest words in the English language is “churn.” Churn is defined as the loss of a customer to a competitor.

So the phone companies won’t act aggressively to stop texting and driving…are there other solutions that could help prevent car accidents caused by cell phone use?

Actually, there are…

One company, Cellcontrol, makes a device that can block a driver’s use of their cell phone while driving. The company makes a device that mounts on a car’s dash and uses sound waves to identify a phones’s location. If the device finds that the phone it’s linked to is in the driver’s seat – it shuts that particular phone down – leaving all passenger phones in the car operational.

In the end, we are once again left to marvel at how big companies all too often choose profit over consumer safety. It is undeniably true that if Apple had launched its cell phone blocking ten years ago – many Connecticut lives would have been saved and many car accidents avoided.

If you’re ever injured in a car accident of any kind, know that the Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting drivers injured in accidents for over 60 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, please contact us.  There is no obligation.

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