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Is Apple Responsible for FaceTime Distracted Driving Crashes?

January 11, 2018
Colson Hicks Eidson

It was Christmas eve as a family of four pulled up to a line of cars caught by a traffic jam. The father of that family slowed their car, but the vehicle directly behind them didn’t. A 20-year-old driver slammed his vehicle into this family’s car causing major injuries and one devastating loss. Now the family is trying to find justice for that loss, but they are looking beyond the driver who crashed into them for justice.

Could Apple Be Responsible for FaceTime Distracted Driving Crashes?

This entire family suffered serious injuries, but the 5-year-old daughter’s injuries were the gravest. She was unable to overcome her wounds and passed after the accident.

Once on the scene, police questioned the 20-year-old as to what caused this incident. That’s when he admitted to driving while distracted. He was using his iPhone to video chat with someone while he was driving, and police even found the call still running when they located the man’s phone. This function is called FaceTime, and if used while driving, it can cause a major driving distraction.

Apple knew the dangers of driving and FaceTiming. In 2008, the company filed for a patent on technology that would prevent FaceTime from running while driving. That patent was approved in 2014, yet still the technology hasn’t shown up on any iPhone models. This detail combined with the fact that Apple provides no warnings as to the dangers of using this app while driving has spurred the family in this case to action.

This family has filed a lawsuit against Apple for negligence. They claim that Apple could have prevented their daughter’s death if the company had implemented this safety technology. The suit also mentions that Apple doesn’t warn consumers not to use FaceTime while driving.

The family is asking for damages, medical expenses, and legal fees, but do you think they have a case? Tell our Miami product liability attorneys what you think on Twitter and Facebook. You can also stay on top of where this case goes by following our blog.