Distracted driving crashes: Who is to blame?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2017 | fatal motor vehicle accidents

Operating a car or truck is an incredible responsibility and requires serious concentration and skill. However, because most people get behind the wheel every day, it can be easy to forget this. In fact, some people are so dismissive of the fact that they are in control of a massive, powerful machine that they do things like use their phones while driving.

Being distracted by a phone while driving puts a driver at an increased risk of causing a serious, catastrophic accident. While there is no doubt that a distracted driver should be held accountable for these damages, there are people who believe that others should be held accountable as well. 

For instance, just a few years ago, a young girl was killed in an accident caused by a driver using the FaceTime app on his phone. The video chatting app comes on every Apple phone and allows people to speak face-to-face over the phone.

The girl’s family filed a lawsuit arguing that in addition to the man driving, Apple should also be held responsible for the crash. The lawsuit states that the tech giant should disable distracting features like video chat while a person is traveling at highway speeds in order to prevent users from being distracted while driving.

However, this a difficult argument to make. To begin with, disabling these features could be done erroneously for passengers or people riding in planes, trains or buses. Additionally, there is the position that the duty lies with individuals to use technology responsibly, not with tech manufacturers who would be required to control when a phone should or should not be used.

There is no clear answer to whether a company like Apple can or should be held responsible in light of tragic accidents like the one mentioned above, and the answer will vary based on the details of each specific case. This is a debate that will certainly persist as drivers continue to be distracted by their phones behind the wheel. 

If you or a loved one is injured in this type of accident, you may find that liability is harder to define than you expect. Because of this, it is often wise to consult an attorney familiar with distracted driving claims and identifying the parties accountable.