Apple Insists It's Not Responsible For Distracted Driving Accidents Involving iPhones

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday to argue that it shouldn't be held liable for iPhone-related distracted driving accidents, in response to a lawsuit filed against the company earlier this year.

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    California resident Julio Ceja filed a class action complaint against Apple in January, accusing the company of placing profit before consumer safety by choosing not to implement a lock-out mechanism that would disable an iPhone's functionality when being used behind the wheel by an engaged driver.

    Ceja said his vehicle was involved in a collision with another vehicle in which the driver was texting on an iPhone.

    Apple, however, told the court that it's a driver's fault if they choose to misuse an inherently safe iPhone while operating a vehicle. Apple essentially said it cannot be blamed simply because it manufactures the device, according to court documents filed electronically and obtained by MacRumors.

    Just yesterday, a U.S. district court in Texas dismissed a similar distracted driving lawsuit brought against Apple last year. In that case, Meador v. Apple, Inc., the plaintiffs accused Apple of failing to automatically disable a user's ability to operate an iPhone while driving, and of improper marketing.

    However, judge Robert W. Schroeder III said the plaintiff's injuries stemmed from neglecting to safely operate her vehicle.
    Apple has faced similar lawsuits in the past. In response to one filed in Texas in 2015, Apple indicated the responsibility is on the driver to avoid distractions in a statement provided to The New York Times:
    Ceja's lawsuit mentioned a patent for a motion analyzer that would detect whether a handheld device is in motion beyond a certain speed. A scenery analyzer would then determine whether the holder of the handheld device is sitting somewhere other than the driver's seat. Otherwise, the device could be disabled.

    In other embodiments, a vehicle or car key could transmit a signal that disables functionality of the handheld device while it is being operated. To a lesser degree, a vehicle could also transmit a signal that merely sends the device a notification stating that functionality should be disabled.

    Apple hasn't gone as far as implementing any of those functions, but in iOS 11 it introduced Do Not Disturb While Driving.


    Do Not Disturb While Driving is an optional setting that, when enabled, turns on whenever an iPhone connects to a vehicle via Bluetooth or detects rapid acceleration. While active, the feature mutes all incoming phone calls, notifications, and text messages, and the iPhone's screen stays off completely.

    Phone calls are allowed, so long as an iPhone is connected to a car's Bluetooth or a hands-free accessory, allowing drivers to respond without needing to pick up their phone. If not connected to Bluetooth or a compatible accessory, calls will be blocked like text messages and notifications.

    For text messages, there is an option to send your contacts a message that lets them know you're driving and will get back to them later. In an emergency, a person who is attempting to contact you via text while you're driving can break through Do Not Disturb by sending a second "urgent" message.

    Do Not Disturb While Driving can also be activated manually in Settings > Do Not Disturb or in Control Center.

    Article Link: Apple Insists It's Not Responsible For Distracted Driving Accidents Involving iPhones
     
  2. dannyyankou macrumors 604

    dannyyankou

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    They’re right. It all comes down to personal responsibility, as it does with most things in life
     
  3. autrefois macrumors 65816

    autrefois

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    How could anyone possibly think this is Apple's fault? If there was ever a frivolous lawsuit, this is it.
     
  4. ChazSch macrumors 6502

    ChazSch

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    and the sooner we each take responsibility for our own actions, instead of trying to sue our way to riches, we will be a better nation
     
  5. DrJohnnyN macrumors 65816

    DrJohnnyN

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  6. Act3 macrumors 68000

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    This is almost like suing Jack Daniels for a drunk driver
     
  7. Zirel Suspended

    Zirel

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    Buy an LG, you won’t be distracted, because the phone will be bootlooping while you drive!

    This is simply ridiculous!

    It’s never one person’s blame, right?
     
  8. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    I never text while driving, it's simple enough to just ignore the damn phone.
     
  9. dannyyankou macrumors 604

    dannyyankou

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    While we’re at it, let’s sue the inventor of newspapers

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  10. Stella macrumors G3

    Stella

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    The responsibility lies with the motorist. Simple.


    But people can't take responsibility for their own poor choices...
     
  11. Böhme417 macrumors 6502a

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    Exactly. Where does this stop? Sue the cosmetics manufacturer for the person putting on mascara while driving, the drive-through chain for the person eating?
     
  12. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    It's not just "almost like", it is.
     
  13. Sharkoneau macrumors 6502a

    Sharkoneau

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    Another reason why people suck. You can’t legislate bad habits out of people, what the user chooses to do is their choice - for better or worse.
     
  14. Madmic23 macrumors 6502a

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    Clearly, it was the tire manufacturer's fault. If they didn't have those tires, there's no way the vehicle could have collided with the other one. :)
     
  15. Gorms macrumors 6502

    Gorms

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    How is this in even a court case? Does the US not have a law against using your phone whilst driving like we do in the UK or something? Is that seriously it?

    If that is the case... Jeez... just add it to the list of laws you should have that the rest of the world already goes by, I guess?
     
  16. testcard macrumors 68040

    testcard

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  17. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    I reminds me of the Simpsons with Homer Simpson playing a driving game on his iPhone while driving the car.
     
  18. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

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    My burger distracted me while driving! I'm suing Five guys! :D

    If instead it was a drunk driver, who was Julio going to sue?
     
  19. Matthew.H macrumors 6502

    Matthew.H

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    If people took responsibility for their own actions pointless cases like this wouldn't be started let alone make it to a court room.

    It would also be nice if people would look where their walking when out an about rather than staring at a phone screen. Saturdays in a city centre are like an obstacle course with phone addicts.
     
  20. Act3 macrumors 68000

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    well to be just like, he would have to sue the automobile industry for not having a kill switch if alcohol is detected on driver lol
     
  21. shyam09 macrumors 68020

    shyam09

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    So the other day, I got into an accident because the other person sneezed. I have decided to sue the bacteria, virus, and any allergens that caused the sneeze. That'll teach those fools. See you in court all you microscopical organisms. Since some people sneeze when they look at the sun, I'm also including the sun.
     
  22. sbailey4 macrumors 68040

    sbailey4

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    Wow, wonder if we can sue the radio stations because we may change the channel while driving? Surely its their fault for not playing what I want to hear at that moment causing me to change the channel and rear-ending someone, yes? I mean there is no way that could be MY fault for not paying attention. Heck we can include the radio manufacture too for not locking out the change dial while moving. :rolleyes:

    In all seriousness, I hope the judge fines them for wasting his and the courts time on stupid sh** like this.
     
  23. ineedamac macrumors 6502

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    This is stupid. You cannot blame your iPhone for making you crash your car.
     
  24. 78Bandit macrumors 6502a

    78Bandit

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    Anyone who files a lawsuit like this is essentially admitting they have no awareness of nor control over their own actions as it relates to the safety of other citizens. They should immediately be locked away in a padded room for the rest of their life to ensure they don't continue to be a danger to others.

    This is no different than people wanting to hold gun manufacturers liable for the illegal use of weapons. An object is generally not inherently unsafe, it is its misuse by a person that results in injury and that person needs to be held responsible.
     
  25. TheIguana macrumors 6502a

    TheIguana

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    Perhaps not liable, but the addition of better "Do Not Disturb" features should continue to be applauded and encouraged.
     

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