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Technology Could Stop Distracted Driving

Every motorist knows that using a mobile device while driving is, at best, unsafe, and at worst, very reckless. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted drivers kill more than 3,000 people every year. While lawmakers in most states, including Kentucky, have made texting while driving illegal, many wonder if more that can be done to stop motorists from using mobile devices while driving.

The technology to stop mobile phone use on the roads may already exist. The surviving family members of a person who was killed by a distracted driver in Texas brought a lawsuit against Apple. The families claimed that Apple knew or should have known that people would use their devices on the road.

The surviving family members learned that in 2014, Apple received approval on a patent that would prevent drivers from using certain functions on their phone, such as texting, while the car was in motion. In its patent application, Apple stated that “Texting while driving has become so widespread that it is doubtful that law enforcement will have any significant effect on stopping the practice.”

Why won’t technology companies “lock out” drivers from texting on the road?

If Apple was the only company to install “lock out” technology, it would probably be at a competitive disadvantage, as some drivers will probably want to continue using their phones behind the wheel. In order for distracted driving to decrease, lawmakers and technology companies may have to come together to make it impossible for motorists to text or use their mobile devices while driving. Alternately, lawmakers could pass laws with more severe penalties for texting and using mobile devices while driving. In the meantime, drivers need to understand the dangers of distracted driving.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver, the lawyer you select matters. For generations, people across Grayson, Carter County and surrounding areas have relied on Wilhoit Law Office.

Source: Phone Makers Could Cut Off Drivers. So Why Don’t They? New York Times, September 24, 2016, by Matt Richtel