According to the most recent statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the percentage of drivers distracted by their phones while driving increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014. Since 2007, drivers age 16 to 24 have been observed manipulating electronic devices at higher rates than older drivers have.
Overall government figures reveal that 3,179 people died and 431,000 suffered injuries in accidents involving distracted drivers.
A Pursuit Of Profits Versus Protection Of Drivers
While drivers of all ages texting and driving is a growing problem, mobile device manufacturers are becoming a growing target of legal actions. A high-profile company is the defendant in a lawsuit that claims that their technology is responsible for the negligent acts of their customers.
The lawsuit filed against Apple on behalf of Julio Ceja claims injuries resulted from their products that willfully encourage texting and driving. A driver distracted by her iPhone struck Ceja's car from behind. She was seen clutching the device as she got out of her car.
The lawsuit states that Apple's iPhone is the eye of an epidemic-level storm involving texting and driving. Instead of seeking monetary compensation, the plaintiff is demanding that all sales stop until Apple adds lockout mechanisms and motion and scenery analyzers.
The technology received a patent in 2014. However, Apple and other phone manufacturers claim that the lockout is not precise enough and could affect passengers' mobile devices in the car.
Technological innovation has created cutting-edge conveniences beyond imagination. However, the convenience that comes with cell phones is leading to an alarming increase in catastrophic collisions.