Can Apple Be Held Responsible for Drivers Using Their FaceTime App While Driving?
Parents in Texas are suing Apple, claiming the distracted driver that killed their five-year-old daughter was using FaceTime while driving, resulting in a crash that killed their young daughter.
The couple, Mr. and Mrs. Modisette are suing Apple for damages on the basis that the tech giant did not provide and implement a safer design of the FaceTime App that would prevent the use of the app while driving at highway speeds. The lawsuit, filed before Christmas, also suggests that Apple did not warn the users of the FaceTime app that it was dangerous when used or misused. Apple also did not instruct the users of the app on its safe usage.
According to the evidence provided in the lawsuit, the Modisette family was traveling on the highway with their two children in their booster seats in the back of their vehicle. Traffic slowed down, stopped due to Police activity on the roadway. It is alleged that the driver of a Toyota 4Runner who was involved with the FaceTime app rear-ended the Modisette vehicle at full highway speed (65mph)
The Morissettes had slowed or stopped their car because police activity ahead of them on the highway had caused traffic to back up, according to the suit. The driver admitted to Police that he was using FaceTime at the time of the collision.
Can an App be Instrumental in a Vehicle Collision
The Modisette lawsuit against Apple suggests that the iPhone that was used by the driver who caused the collision had the necessary hardware that could be configured with software to “lock out” the use of the app while driving at a highway speed.
The driver of the vehicle that caused the collision has been charged with manslaughter and will begin his trial in February 2017. All will be watching to determine what role Apple and its FaceTime app played in the collision. The driver who caused the crash has expressed his remorse but that will never bring back the life of a five-year-old child. Distracted driving has consequences, consequences that have severe repercussions.