A lawsuit has been filed against Apple in the US after a man was involved in a car where the other driver was texting on their iPhone.
The Californian lawsuit accuses Apple of selling products that encourage drivers to text behind the wheel.
Call to introduce lockout technology
The suit, obtained by Ars Technica, was filed on behalf of Julio Ceja. Mr Ceja is not asking for money from the tech giant – but instead for them to introduce some way to prevent phone usage when driving.
Mr Ceja’s car was hit from behind, according to his lawyers. The person in the car that hit Mr Ceja was allegedly distracted by her iPhone. The lawyers say that she was still holding the phone when she got out of the car.
The suit wants Apple to halt production of all iPhones until some form of the technology is implemented to prevent usage behind the wheel. The suit claims that Apple is “putting profit before consumer safety”.
It claims texting and driving is becoming a major issue in California with iPhones “at the center of the epidemic”.
Mr Ceja’s claims centre around a patent granted in 2014 that would lock people out of their phones while driving. This technology has not been implemented.
The patented technology would “provide a lock-out mechanism without requiring any modifications or additions to a vehicle by using a motion analyzer, a scenery analyzer and a lock-out mechanism”.
Technology not yet suitable
Despite the patent being issued, technology experts say the reason it hasn’t been introduced could be that they couldn’t make the lockout precise enough. For example, it could affect other phones in the car not being used by the driver.
This is not the first time such a lawsuit has been issued. A suit was raised after a woman was killed when a driver struck her while using FaceTime on his iPhone.
Official Government figures suggest that in 2014, 3,179 people were killed in California due to distracted driving, also around 430,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.
In the UK, the penalty for using your phone while driving has doubled to six points and a £200 fine.
Date Published: February 3, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown