Amid spike in distracted-driving deaths, Apple sued for not implementing safety feature

A few months ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an initiative urging phone makers to include a "driver mode" in smartphones. The feature, similar to the airplane mode that has long existed in handheld devices, would block apps and features that distract drivers.

The NHTSA's initiative comes in response to a disturbing spike in distraction-related traffic deaths in recent years.

In fact, Apple is currently being sued for not already implementing a safety feature to prevent distracted driving.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed by a man who was injured by a distracted driver, Apple has had the technology to support the safety feature since 2008, and Apple even obtained a patent for it in 2014. However, the tech giant never implemented the safety feature.

The lawsuit claims that Apple has declined to implement the "driver mode" because the company believes that doing so would hurt its market share.

Meanwhile, distracted driving continues to take thousands of lives each year.

According to a 2014 injury and fatality report from the National Safety Council, cell phone use was linked to 26 percent of all car accidents in the U.S.

Additionally, the NHTSA has repeatedly said that texting while driving is just as dangerous and can be even more dangerous than drunk driving.

New Mexico bans texting for drivers of all ages, and the state bans use of handheld devices for drivers in state vehicles. Additionally, novice drivers are prohibited from using handheld and hands-free cell phones behind the wheel.

Despite the laws and the facts, people continue to risk their lives and others' lives by driving distractedly.

If you or a loved one was injured due to a distracted driver's negligence, speak with a personal injury attorney about your options for holding the driver accountable and obtaining the full and fair compensation you deserve.

For more on these matters, please see Almanzar & Youngers' personal injury overview. Our attorneys represent injury victims throughout New Mexico.

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