Yes, that old chestnut has been dragged back out by Time Magazine, more specifically their Question as headlined is (click bait) Is Can Apple be held Liable for Texting While Driving Crashes while the story expands a little to all the other manufacturers.
Now this has been regurgitated because a person has decided that Apple is to blame for them, their friend, their family member or someone else’s actions by allowing someone to text while they are driving.
Quite a stupid question. If the state law says it is a driving infraction or misdemeanor then the responsibility of the person is to not break the law. Under the same thought process, is a car manufacturer liable if their vehicle is driven by a person that was drinking, is the brewer, distiller or retail establishement that produces or supplies alcohol to blame for that act? Or, in the case of this texting and driving, just because the device allows it, is the supplier of the “texting” service i.e. The phone carrier, liable for that act of texting while driving?
In all cases it is the responsibility of the own of the device to not text while driving just like they are responsible for not being intoxicated or under the influence of drugs while driving.
But, I hear you say, but, but, but, the phone manufacturer could stop the phone from texting while the vehicle is in motion! This old chestnut has been dragged out, what happens is that then people throw a hissy fit when they can’t text while on a train, a bus, or as a passenger within an automobile.
The simple answer is to just grow the heck up and learn to be responsible for your actions. If you’re driving don’t text, don’t hold it either like a slice of freaking toast in front of your big mouth like you’re not having chat on the phone, yeah that’s not allowed either in most states but it still happens, let’s blame the phone maker for allowing that.
You’re phone is just like any machine, you are responsible for the safe use of that equipment.
In the case referred to by Time Magazine, this will end up thrown out of court for the same reasons, a person cannot blame another for an accident caused by the actions of themselves or another party. Apple were not texting and driving, Samsung were not texting and driving (quite possibly exploding a battery is driving is more likely with them) and neither was any other manufacturer of a device where a person has been involved in an accident and died or killed another person, it is the blame of the person sitting behind the wheel holding the device and texting rather than operating the bigger machine in the safe manner that is required and that they are tested by their state or country to do so.
What next, these moron’s that watch a movie while driving should blame the maker of the movie for their accident? Sue a building owner when a family member decides to jump off the roof and splat themselves over the ground in a big red splat? How about suing a person they landed on too?
I know that sometimes when a family member is lost those grieving have to blame another for the actions of that lost relative but it is the blame of the family member for choosing to not operate their phone and their vehicle in a safe manner. Grieve for your loss, then move on and teach other family members and friends and relatives of the dangers of “texting and driving” or any other stupid act while driving.