Apple hit with class action suit to add lock-out system to prevent texting and driving

Photo of iPhone and Applie logo

A new and legally interesting class action lawsuit was filed against tech giant Apple recently in California. It alleges that Apple is putting profits before safety by not having already installed a lock-out system for people who are texting and driving. The suit seeks to force the company into adding this feature to iPhones. They claim Apple has possessed the technology to accomplish this since 2008 and was granted a related patent in 2014.

The suit filed at the Los Angeles County Superior Court by MLG Automotive Law states that Apple refuses to implement the new technology “over concerns that it will lose market share to other phone makers who do not limit consumer use.”

The plaintiff is Julio Ceja of Costa Mesa, California who was involved in a car accident when he was rear-ended by another driver who was allegedly using her iPhone.

The lawsuit cites data from the U.S. Department of Transportation claiming 1.5 million people are texting and driving on public roads at any given moment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration classifies texting and driving as six times more dangerous than driving while drunk.

“The relationship consumers have with their phones is just too great, and the ability to slide under the eye of the law is just too easy,” the lawsuit reads. “Embedding lock-out devices is the only solution.”

According to an article posted on appleinsider.com, the suit also alleges people driving and texting using their iPhones causes 312 fatalities and 52,000 automobile wrecks in California annually. The suit wants to halt all sales in California until Apple installs a lock-out device on their iPhones.

A similar suit was filed the previous month blaming FaceTime for distracting a driver responsible for an accident resulting in a fatality. The difference between the two suits is that the earlier one does not want to force Apple to implement the lock-out technology, although it mentions the 2014 patent, but seeks damages and medical expenses for the family of the deceased.

What do you think about this? Do you think it should be up to the individual driver to uphold the law and not text while driving, or do you think that Apple and other smartphone providers should be made to install lock-out features to prevent it?

I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts about this. Please do comment.

I would appreciate it if you would share this article so that others can benefit from the information. Thank you.
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