New York residents might see motorists using their phones while driving and wonder if there is anything that can be done to prevent accidents resulting from this behavior. The plaintiffs in one class action lawsuit in California believe that they know what to do. Smartphone manufacturer Apple has technology that locks certain apps when the user is behind the wheel of a vehicle, but it is not currently installed on any iPhones.
The suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges that Apple is liable for motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers texting and using apps. Technology that prevents using an iPhone while driving has existed since 2008, and Apple received a patent for the safety feature in 2014. The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction that prohibits the company from selling iPhone 6 phones that lack the safety lock in California. They also wants Apple to provide updates so that those who already have the newest phones can get the safety feature.
The lead plaintiff in this case was at a stoplight when she was rear-ended by a driver using an iPhone. A family has also filed a suit in Santa Clara County Superior Court against Apple after their 5-year-old daughter died when a 20-year-old rear-ended the family's vehicle while using Facetime. To prevail, plaintiffs must show that Apple knew accidents were likely to happen without the safety feature.
Motorists have a duty to act reasonably for the safety of others while on the road. This duty is breached when a driver acts irresponsibly, and an individual may be liable for an accident when his or her behavior leads to a victim's injuries. This duty is judged by a reasonable standard of care.