Apple Argues it Should Not be Held Responsible for Accidents Involving Distracted Driving


In January of this year, Apple faced another lawsuit, a type that it was already not completely unfamiliar with: Being sued for not locking iPhones while owners drive their vehicles.

On Thursday of this week, Apple appeared in the Los Angeles Superior Court to argue its point, and stated that it should not be held responsible for accidents that are caused while a driver is distracted when using their iPhone. This is the response Apple is providing in relation to the aforementioned lawsuit, which was filed in California by Julio Ceja. The lawsuit levels a complaint against Apple that says the company puts profits ahead of consumer safety, due to the fact the company does not implement a feature that automatically locks an iPhone while an owner is driving their vehicle.

In Ceja’s case, he was involved in a vehicular accident where the driver of the other car was texting on their phone, which was an iPhone.

For its part, Apple argued that it shouldn’t be held responsible for a driver’s decision to use their iPhone while they drive. Apple went on to add that it should not be blamed simply because it manufactures the iPhone. As noted by MacRumors, a similar case was brought against Apple in Texas, and, just yesterday, the judge ruled in Apple’s favor.

Ceja’s lawsuit against Apple brings up a patent that details a motion analyzer, which would be able to detect whether or not a handheld device, like an iPhone, is being used while passing a certain speed. This same feature would also be able to determine if the user of the phone was in the driver’s seat or not, and, if they were, disable the device’s primary functions.

While Apple hasn’t gone that far, the company did introduce a feature called “Do Not Disturb While Driving” within iOS 11 earlier this year. The feature is a standard, but optional, one, and when the iPhone recognizes that it is connected to a vehicle will automatically mute phone calls, text messages, and other notifications while the car is in use. The phone’s display stays off, too.

This doesn’t outright disable an iPhone, but many have said it’s a step in the right direction.

[via MacRumors]

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