San Francisco (CA) Chronicle reports the families of some victims of distracted driving accidents are blaming smartphone manufacturers, accusing them of failing to provide “technology that could prevent crashes caused by distracted drivers.” Experts say that “there is no technical reason” that would prevent the companies from creating the feature. However, Apple argues that crashes are “caused by the distracted drivers misusing the technology, not a defect in the iPhone.” The company points to “a wide variety of distractions” drivers engage in while driving, such as applying makeup and eating food, that “do not make the product manufacturers or service providers liable.” A judge ruled Tuesday to dismiss the case against Apple. The story also notes that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “supports having users manually turn on features that prevent distracted driving until technology is developed to make it easier to distinguish between whether a smartphone user is in the driver’s or passenger seat.”
Study finds drivers use phones in 88 percent of trips. McClatchy reports drivers used their phones in 88 percent of trips between December 2016 and February 2017, a Zendrive study of “570 million trips among 3.1 million drivers” found. The results were “much higher than previous studies that asked drivers to self-identify,” and also revealed that drivers averaged three and a half minutes on the phone for every hour of driving. Wired reports that unlike previous studies, Zendrive’s used sensor data to determine when drivers used their phone. The article adds that “nearly 3,500 people died in distraction-related crashes in 2015,” according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
From the news release of the American Association for Justice.