Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.
Published on:

Accidents related to distracted driving: should the wireless industry be accountable?

distracted-driving-can-cause-accidents-1Last year the number of fatal auto accidents reached a record high in the US. Despite unclear data, mobile devices are suspected to be a main factor in these accidents.

Mobile phone addiction is real and the consequences are deadly when people use their phone while driving. The wireless industry knows it. Big tech companies have  developed sophisticated tools to prevent these deaths but they don’t implement them for fear of seeing their profits decreasing.

Almost 10 years ago Apple submitted a patent for a technology that had the capacity to disable any function of a handled computing device that may interfere with safe driving.  While submitting the license , in 2008, Apple stated “Texting while driving has become so widespread that it is doubtful that law enforcement will have any significant effect on stopping the process.”  For unknown reasons, the license was not issued until 2014. Anyway Apple never deployed it.

The wireless industry would rather see you dead on the street rather than earning less money

Apple and the rest of the wireless industry do fully understand the risks of drivers using iPhones but ignore them.  Not only do they support the idea that it is the full responsibility of the driver not to text but they also lobby hard to kill proposed federal guidelines preventing distracted driving. The purpose of the federal guidelines is to provide a safety framework for the wireless industry to use when developing visual-manual user interfaces for their systems. The wireless industry doesn’t want to hear anything about it. The opposition is lead by two trade groups that include Apple, Google, Samsung, Qualcomm, AT&T and Verizon: the Consumer Technology Association, which represents 2,200 companies and the CITA  (formerly known as the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association).

In the past, personal injury lawsuits have proven to be an effective manner to force corporations to make their products safer.  For example in the seventies after too many home owners lost a limb when mowing their lawn, numerous lawsuits forced  lawn mower manufacturers to make their products safer to protect consumers. So far, several lawsuits against Apple involving distracted driving were all dismissed.

Read more about it in Fairwarning