Blame Drivers, Not Phones, For Distracted Driving, Says Apple

Apple is asking a California judge to toss a class-action lawsuit alleging its phones are a safety risk.

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Apple asked a California state court judge to throw out a proposed class-action lawsuit, alleging the company acted irresponsibly by not installing safeguards on iPhones that prevent people from using them while driving, according to Law360.

The suit was filed in January by MLG Automotive Law, a Newport Beach, California, firm that represents businesses and people in the automotive industry, according to Apple World Today. The lawsuit seeks to prevent Apple from continuing to sell iPhones until it installs safeguards against texting while driving.

A legal filing claims Apple has had the technology to stop people from using their phones while driving since 2008, and even received a patent on it in 2014. The lawsuit alleges Apple has refused to implement this technology, and that the company is placing profits over consumer safety.

In court, an Apple attorney reportedly argued that courts have consistently held the people in distracted-driving crashes responsible, not phone manufacturers. Ultimately, it's up to the person behind the wheel to pay attention, Apple argued.

Automakers, tech companies, and regulators continue to grapple with the issue of distracted driving, with no clear solution to the problem. Putting down the phone is the simplest answer, but many drivers seem to lack the ability to do that. Autonomous cars could prove to be the ultimate solution, but it would be a shame if the only way to improve safety turns out to be giving up driving altogether.