These days, few events are more exciting than the unveiling of a brand new, beautiful Apple product—like the much-anticipated iPhone X. In anticipation of its release, many waited with bated breath. Along with this unveiling, however, comes a renewed interest in the role smartphones play in accidents caused by distracted driving, which is an inquiry that’s worth examining more closely.
Apple has faced several lawsuits that focus on allegations regarding the role iPhones have played in distracted driving cases. A California judge recently dismissed a case brought by a college student’s family that blames Apple for their son’s death at the hand of a texting teen driver. The court found that, ultimately, Apple is not legally obligated to aid in the prevention of distracted driving and that causation in the case was too nebulous to stick. This means that it falls to drivers to resist using their new iPhones behind the wheel.
Do Not Disturb
It’s no revelation that distracted driving is dangerous driving, and perhaps nothing is more dangerously distracting than a smartphone, with its rapid-fire texts, emails, and so much more. The new iPhone X includes a Do Not Disturb While Driving mode, which is poised to help keep drivers more focused on the open road and less distracted by their new Apple gadget. Once you choose to turn this safety feature on, the iPhone X will determine when you are driving (or riding as a passenger, which is a bit of a glitch) and will automatically mute all notifications so that your screen stays dark. Furthermore, your favorite contacts will receive an automated reply that lets them know you are driving.
Bigger is Better
Although you may not know what a bezel is, you will. The new iPhone comes equipped with a screen that’s all about display—it includes no bezels, which are those bits on your phone’s screen that aren’t on the display, such as a home button. The iPhone X hits the scene with nothing but screen. The question is, will this enhanced display make distracted driving even more enticing?
Distracted driving is extremely dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that drivers whose attention is absorbed by any activity other than driving are distracted drivers. Such distractions are divided into three separate classifications:
- Visual distractions, which engage your sense of sight (the iPhone X’s increased screen size could be called to task under this classification)
- Manual distractions, which engage your hands (the iPhone attempts to address this issue with hands-free Siri and CarPlay, which most states allow as acceptable hands-free solutions)
- Cognitive distractions, which engage your mental processing abilities (the iPhone X’s larger text display, for example)
Texting engages all three classifications and is identified as one of the most dangerous iterations of distracted driving. The iPhone X’s new and improved larger, bezel-free screen falls squarely within this overarching distracted driving category.
Doing the Numbers
The statistics related to driving under the influence of texting are sobering:
- Your attention is distracted for at least five seconds when you engage in your phone’s text feature.
- If your travel speed is 55 miles per hour, you’ll drive blind for at least the length of a football field while you text.
- If you text and drive, you’re about 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident.
- If you dial and drive, you’re about three times more likely to be involved in a car crash.
- If you chat on your cell and drive, you’re almost a third more likely to be involved in an accident.
- Teens who text and drive spend about a tenth of their driving time outside of their lane.
Your smartphone takes your attention away from the road. When you’re driving, your attention should be focused solely on the road ahead of you. Heed these statistics.
The iPhone X
While it’s true that every new iPhone reveal is tantalizing, it’s also true that driving while distracted is dangerous. Go ahead and believe the hype—the iPhone X very well may change your life. It’s also important, however, to acknowledge the statistics as they relate to distracted driving. By putting your new iPhone down while you drive, the life you save may be your own.
If You’ve Been Injured by a Distracted Driver, Contact an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney
Personal injury claims are complicated and should never be left to chance. If you’ve suffered an injury that was caused by a distracted driver, you need an experienced Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, personal injury attorney. The Levin Firm is here to help. We have the experience, dedication, and skill to fight for your claim’s best possible resolution. Please contact or call us at (215) 825.5183 today.