The dangers of distracted driving are well-known and well-documented. According to www.cdc.gov, each day in the United States, over 8 people are killed and 1,161 are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. While distractions can come in many forms, cell phones are the top distraction.
Some victims of distracted driving are now attempting to hold tech companies responsible in addition to the distracted drivers themselves.
A Texas couple whose 5-year-old daughter died in a crash involving a driver who was allegedly using FaceTime has recently sued Apple. According to the lawsuit, the police found FaceTime running on the phone of a driver who struck the family’s vehicle at 65 miles per hour. The accident happened on Christmas Eve in 2014. The lawsuit also alleges that Apple had patented technology that could lock FaceTime to prevent distracted driving, but did not implement it.
In April of 2016, a Georgia resident injured in a car wreck sued Snapchat based on the allegation that the other driver was using the app. Snapchat has a feature that allows users to track how fast someone is going with their phone. The lawsuit alleged that this feature incentivized the driver to use Snapchat while driving.
It is unclear if this trend will continue, and what kind of success plaintiffs will have in lawsuits against tech companies based on distracted driving. However, it is clear that the dangers presented by distracted driving are not going anywhere soon. Our phones are now capable of distracting us in countless ways, including texts, emails, or applications. Moreover, smartphone ownership has been on the rise. In 2011, 52% of drivers reported owning a smartphone. By 2014, that number had grown to 80%.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a distracted driver, please contact an experienced attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.