Tech & The Web

Should Apple Be Forced to Stop Texting While Driving?


A class action lawsuit is trying to force Apple to enact safeguards to prevent iPhone users from texting while they’re behind the wheel.

Should tech manufacturers place limits on their own technology for people who don’t have enough common sense not to text while they’re driving? A lawsuit says yes.

Apple Insider reports the suit was filed in Los Angeles by a man whose vehicle was hit from behind by another driver who reportedly distracted by using her iPhone.

The suit alleges Apple had the technology that would somehow prevent texting and driving since 2008 and was granted a patent for it in 2014.

Despite this, it is alleged Apple refuses to implement the technology in the iPhone “over concerns that it will lose market share to other phone-makers who do not limit consumer use.” adds, “The far-reaching lawsuit claims that the iPhone is the culprit of 52,000 car accidents in California per year, as well as 312 deaths per year on average.”

If we’re to accept the Second Amendment crowd’s mantra that tells us “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” then we have to also be willing to accept that iPhones don’t cause accidents; people cause accidents.

If you can’t put your phone down long enough to drive safely, the problem clearly isn’t the phone: it’s you. I’d strongly recommend that you look into mass transit so you can mindlessly play on your phone while someone else does the driving.

I don’t check email or text messages while the car is in motion. That seems like such blatant common sense to me that it’s not something I have to spend a great deal of time pondering when I’m behind the wheel. If I receive a text when I’m driving, it waits.

It can always wait.

But the real question here is how, exactly, can technology prevent people from texting while they’re behind the wheel? How does this mechanism work? How does the phone know, for example, whether you’re the driver or a passenger in a moving vehicle? And what about a rare emergency situation in which you could potentially become the victim of a carjacker: do we really want a limit placed on our ability to use our phone when doing so could save a life?

What about hands-free calling? There have been a handful of times that I’ve called 911 while I was driving to report an accident scene I had just passed. I wasn’t holding the phone. But I spoke into the car’s speaker system to 911 dispatchers to let them know someone may have been injured and needed help. Is said technology able to differentiate from checking email and reporting a legitimate emergency?

How much “limiting” is reasonable for a cell phone considering how critical they have become to so many people these days?

And why are we trying to blame a technology company for a very, very human mistake?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.