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Passing the Blame for Distracted Driving Accidents


In recent years, some families have begun blaming smartphone manufacturers for the rise in distracted driving accidents. These families are accusing the smartphone manufacturers of failing to provide technology that could prevent crashes caused by distracted drivers; this was taken from the San Francisco Chronicle in California.

Many parents speak to their children and make sure they are aware of the dangers associated with using their phone while driving, but some people have taken this further and have decided to pass the blame to someone else.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the year 2015, there were more than 3,000 people killed in distracted driving accidents. That number accounts for approximately 10% of deaths from that year.

In total, 391,000 injuries were resulting from these accidents, and 8% of these drivers were distracted with their smartphones. The manufacturers, however, argue that it is not their fault, but the fault rests on the driver, and the results happened due to the driver misusing the technology.

Apple and Google already have features that prevent texting while driving, but they admit that these features are all optional. These top manufacturers, however, also said that even switching the phone to operate off voice commands doesn’t eliminate the distraction for the driver.

There are many other activities drivers perform while operating their vehicle that can cause an accident due to distraction just like if they were to misuse their smartphone. These activities include applying makeup or eating while driving.

Judge Theodore Zayner of the Superior Court of California concluded that there is ‘no close connection between Apple’s conduct and Plaintiff’s injuries to warrant the imposition of a legal duty.’ This ruling came about after a Texas family sued Apple after they lost their daughter in a car accident. Their daughter was hit by a driver that was using FaceTime on his phone.

While there are many safety features already available on the phones, most consumers do not take advantage of them and choose to participate in dangerous activities like using their cell phones while driving.

Consumers are being asked to take more responsibility and learn how to regulate their own behavior while driving so that becoming distracted is no longer an issue.

While some consumers believe it is the manufacturer’s job to regulate these safety features and they have a legal responsibility to suspend the phone’s use while driving, the courts do not see it that way which is resulting in failed attempts at suing these top smartphone manufacturers

The Judge had ruled to dismiss the case presented against Apple. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “supports having users manually turn on features that prevent distracted driving until the technology is developed to make it easier to distinguish between whether a smartphone user is in the driver’s or passenger seat.”

Las Vegas Case of Distracted Driving

Between December 2016 and February 2917, it was reported that drivers in 88% percent of trips conducted during this time frame were using their phones while driving. In 2015, approximately 3,500 people had been killed in distraction-related accidents.

A more recent case involves a Las Vegas woman that is now facing felony indictment for allegedly causing an accident while she was talking on her cell phone and driving. She was traveling at a speed of approximately 54 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone, and she ran a red light. She proceeded to hit another car and killed two people and injured another.

The woman has been charged with three felony counts of reckless driving and two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter for the incident that occurred on March 25. The woman could potentially be facing up to 26 years in prison for her distracted driving.

Many states in the United States are now considering banning the use of cell phones while driving. So far, this ban is only effective in Brooklyn, Ohio, Marlboro, NJ, and Suffolk County, New York.

Michael J. Babboni's wide-ranging legal career is based on the strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and have access to effective legal help. Michael began putting his beliefs in action by helping the people of St. Petersburg Florida get what they are owed in civil trials fighting to protect families by making corporations pay, and honor their obligations.

Passing the Blame for Distracted Driving Accidents

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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