Accountability for Smartphone ManufacturersOctober 26, 2017
It is no secret that the rise in distracted driving accidents is closely related to cell phone use, including talking and texting while driving. In fact, approximately 40,000 people were fatally injured in car accidents last year alone, according to the National Safety Council.
Drivers are responsible for their own behavior. If someone makes a phone call, checks a text, or enters an address into the navigation system while driving, and the momentary distraction causes an accident, the driver bears much of the responsibility. However, some believe that the smartphone manufacturers should share that responsibility by making it harder for drivers to use their devices while driving.
Smartphones are designed to attract users’ attention, which includes users who are behind the wheel of a car. For some drivers, it is impossible to ignore the ringing phone, a text notification, or the latest post on social media. Distracted driving awareness campaigns have not been particularly effective, and apps that have the capability to block notifications are voluntary and not widely used. Too often, the need to remain connected overshadows good sense and the ability to make smart choices.
According to Christopher Kutz, University of California law professor, smartphone manufacturers should be doing more to make it difficult for individuals to use their phones while driving. He compared the distracted driving issue to the opioid epidemic, saying that smartphone companies are like drug companies who distribute their product, but assume no responsibility when their product is not used responsibly.
Smartphone Industry Against Proposed Guidelines
Industry leaders are hoping to kill proposed federal guidelines that urge smartphone manufacturers to develop technologies that would disable the phone while the consumer is driving. Two of the industry’s major trade groups have spent millions of dollars on federal lobbying to fight the guidelines. One of the groups, the Consumer Technology Association, said that the guidelines were an abuse of federal authority, which could have a negative impact on the multi-billion dollar market for smartphones and apps.
According to another trade group, CTIA, the technology is not capable of distinguishing between a person driving a car versus a passenger on a bus, as a train, a taxi, or any other vehicle. However, companies like Apple have created third-party text-blocking apps, which could be a solution to that problem. Yet, few companies are willing to use this software because of the economic impact and the potential consumer backlash.
Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers at LeViness Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a distracted driving car accident, it is in your best interest to contact the highly skilled Baltimore personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Distracted driving is a serious issue, one that we take very seriously. Our dedicated team will thoroughly examine the details of your case and determine who is responsible for causing the accident. To arrange a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.