One American couple has sued Apple after their daughter was killed in a road accident. It is alleged that the driver was using FaceTime at the time of the accident.
In the lawsuit, the couple alleges that Apple should have placed in FaceTime a feature that disables video-chatting while driving.
It points to a patent for such a feature for drivers filed by Apple in 2008.
Apple is yet to comment on the matter despite calls from journalists.
2014 Christmas Eve Accident
The 2014 Christmas Eve accident happened on a Texan road with the five-year-old girl on the backseat.
In the lawsuit, the girl’s parents – James and Bethany Modisette – seek damages for “Apple’s wrongful failure to install and implement the safer, alternative design for which it sought a patent in December 2008.”
The US patent office had issued the patent in April 2014 so that it could lock out users while driving.
The driver involved in the crash – Garrett Wilhelm – drove his SUV into the back of the Modisette family’s vehicle while travelling at high speeds.
According to the statement he recorded when the accident happened, Mr. Wilhelm said that he was using FaceTime. The police noted in their documents that it was still active even after picking his phone.
Big safety concern
The idea of drivers getting distracted on the road is an issue that has gotten many motor safety experts concerned.
As explained by the lawsuit, AT&T telecoms firm conducted a research in which it found that 43% of the surveyed teenagers admitted to have texted while driving.
A study by the RAC recently suggested that the number of motorists illegally using mobile phones at the wheel was rising. The UK government plans to double fines and points on licenses for using a mobile while driving.
Governments all over the world have tried to come up with policies that would discourage using mobile phones while driving. Some plan on increasing the fines and jail term while others focus on civic education. The UK government, for instance, has plans of doubling fines and pointing on licenses for using a mobile while driving.