A recent study from Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) shows that distracted driving is implicated in a significant percentage of vehicular accidents, and the biggest culprit appears to be the use of cell phones. The study found that in more than half of accidents – 52 percent – drivers were on cell phones; of those, 29 percent were driving more than 56 miles per hour. The study found that texting, browsing and email were the most common distractions, accounting for roughly 135 seconds per incident. Furthermore, in a comparison of 37 states that ban all cell phone use for teen drivers with states that do not, there was little difference, leading many to suggest that the bans are ineffective.
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA) estimates that eight drivers are killed each day; there were a total of 3,477 traffic fatalities in 2015. Hartford Business reports that in Connecticut alone in 2015, there were 7,472 crashes involving distracted driving, and distracted driving was responsible at least in part in four percent of fatal crashes and nine percent of injury crashes.
As a result, different organizations have suggested, and in some cases implemented, different solutions to attempt to lessen the dangers of distracted driving, specifically distractions caused by cell phones. One of those companies is Apple.
Apple Adds Driving Safety Feature
The commitment of Apple to making cell phones safer for drivers is significant. A March 2017 story from Fortune Magazine states that Apple, one of the largest cell phone manufacturers in the world, now has more than 700 million iPhones activated around the globe; they anticipate seeing their 1 billionth activated phone within two years. As a result, any changes by Apple may well set a trend.
The changes Apple plans are significant. In June, CNN reported that Apple will include a Do Not Disturb feature on their iOS 11 operating system. If the phone is attached to a vehicle, whether by Bluetooth or cable, notifications to the driver will not show, and a message will be sent to the sender that the phone’s owner is driving and cannot answer the phone. In addition, the screen will be locked, though passengers not driving may be able to disable the safeguards.
However, some applications will still be accessible, including maps and Apple CarPlay, which allows an individual to hear and send texts by verbal commands, without taking attention away from the road.
Auto Manufacturers do Their Part
Apple is acting in conjunction with several major auto manufacturers, including General Motors, Honda, Fiat Chrysler, BMW and others.
CNN reports that Nissan has proposed an even stricter deterrent — suggesting the addition of a cage that would block radio transmissions
As smart phones have become more integral in our lives, there have been both good and bad repercussions. It a positive development when both auto and cell phone manufacturers make changes, putting the safety of their customers first.
With more than 40 years of experience practicing law and emphasizing personal injury suits, The Law Firm of Ronald M. Scherban in New Haven has the knowledge, experience and resources to serve your legal needs. If you have questions or would like to schedule a free evaluation, contact us online or call us at 203.865.6414.