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Cognitive distraction: The safety of hands-free cellphones

Although many state laws prohibit drivers from talking or texting on hand-held cellphones while behind the wheel, a number of people continue to engage in this dangerous practice. Cellphone distraction has become hazardous, as drivers compose emails, take selfies, post on social media sites and even FaceTime while navigating the busy roadways.

In one incident, a driver using FaceTime failed to notice stopped traffic ahead and rear-ended a stopped car while traveling at 65 mph in Texas. As a result of the tragic accident, a five-year-old was killed. The mother, father and other sibling riding in the car received injuries. The family’s attorney has filed a lawsuit against Apple for failure to implement a feature on the iPhone 6 Plus that would have potentially prevented the accident from occurring.

Apple applied for and was approved for a patent that would have allowed them to use a lockout feature on FaceTime. The feature would lockout people from using the application while driving. The patent was approved in 2014. The family alleges that since Apple did not use the technology when developing the iPhone 6, even though they had access to it, their daughter was killed. They also accuse Apple of failing to warn people that the application could be dangerous when used while driving, according to the family’s attorney.

When people are involved in a motor vehicle accident and are injured as a result of driver negligence or technological malfunctions, they may want to speak to a personal injury attorney regarding their rights and options.

Source: Business Insider, “Apple sued over fatal car crash for not including a ‘lockout’ feature on FaceTime,” Rob Price, Dec. 30, 2016. 

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