Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you think Apple is really to blame for this fatal car crash?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42445points) January 2nd, 2017

Family Sues Apple, Claiming FaceTime Distracted Driver in Crash That Killed 5-Year-Old Daughter

That is really tragic, but if I was a judge I wouldn’t hold Apple responsible, any more than I’d hold McDonald responsible for obesity.

However, if they could actually come up with something that wouldn’t allow you to use the phone while driving a car, I’d be OK with that.

What are your thoughts?

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34 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Normally I would say that anything that hurts crApple is a good thing, but…
They ARE Texans.

chyna's avatar

A tragedy that is being compounded by another tragedy. The parents want to blame someone with deep pockets for their loss. Money will not bring their daughter back. The fault lies with the man using facetime while driving 65 miles an hour. Unless he was mentally challenged, he should have known not to facetime, text, or talk on his phone and drive.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Of course Apple is not guilty. They are a deep pocketed defendant which is why they are being sued.

All because stupid idiot driver did something stupid.

Apple’s legal argument, by the way, will be the same one that is made by the NRA and various gun manufacturers. They make a safe and secure device. It is the user (in this case the driver) who mis-used the instrument.

I wonder how Apple feels about making that argument…it lets Glock and Smith & Wesson off the hook.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Of course Apple isn’t guilty.
BUT!!!! All cell phones should come out of the box with technology already installed that renders them in operable unless coupled with a hands free set while in motion at say anything above 30mph.

jca's avatar

The attorney for the driver will add everyone to the suit, whether or not they’re really liable.

If you have ever sued anyone, you know everyone gets added to the mix, and then they’re eliminated. It means nothing.

flutherother's avatar

No, it’s a ludicrous lawsuit that could only happen in the US. People are responsible for their actions and if they neglect to pay attention while driving any accident that results is their fault.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I wonder how Apple feels about making that argument…it lets Glock and Smith & Wesson off the hook

I’m the last one to defend American gun culture, but that’s a crazy stretch to bring it into this discussion.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I think that analogy is sound. Guns don’t kill people any more than facetime.

If I kill someone with an Easton baseball bat, Easton isn’t responsible, I am.

If facetime or guns were illegal, or some defective feature was responsible for the death,then lawsuits are warranted.

You can’t protect people from themselves. This loss is ,to me, natural selection. I know that sounds cold,but it is what it is. I’m glad he didn’t run over a bunch of kids at a crosswalk.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay – it’s the identical principle – is the device problematic? or is the person using the device problematic?

The gun lobby has been saying for years that people are the problem.

ragingloli's avatar

You can apply that logic to support anything, including making it legal for everyone to own a personal nuclear weapon.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

You can’t fix stupid and suing Apple is the second time it is stupid.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@ragingloli Do you have one in your pantry?

Zaku's avatar

Seems to me that the people who bring “of course not” law suits should be responsible for the legal costs. Or at least, that might be a way to discourage stupid law suits, like this one.

I am not a gun nut, but I do think that holding gun manufacturers responsible for deaths by their guns is ridiculous and should be thrown out. I would say that this case against Apple however is another level beyond that in ridiculous, because it would apply to any attention-getting or distracting object. Clearly distracting a driver is the fault of the people distracting the driver, and/or of the driver in not avoiding being distracted, and not of whoever made something that can possibly distract someone while driving. That’s batshit crazy.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The family’s lawyer probably hoping for 25% of a 8 digit suit.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. Ignorance of the law, and common sense, is no excuse.

DarknessWithin's avatar

I didn’t have to read the details of the incident to know that this lawsuit is absurd. Though I did read it.
It’s as if the victim of a drunk driving accident were suing the alcohol company the assailant was drinking.

Whether an iPhone or Android and regardless of the app, refraining from using a cell phone while driving is common sense, not to mention U.S law.

A cell phone company regardless of the faults with their product can NOT be held responsible for an action by one grown individual who had the conscious choice to refrain.
This individual was not forced to use Facetime during their drive just because there wasn’t a lock against it or a warning notice. That was his own lack of consideration and plain dumbfuckness.

Would Facetime locking down while in a moving vehicle be sensible? Sure. Unfortunately, however, these days there is hardly anything folks can’t get around and passengers would most certainly find a way around this if they were affected.
Nonetheless, such a feature is NOT a lawful responsibility of the company nor is a warning notice as babysitting their customers, the majority of whom are mentally capable of using the product responsibly is not.

The hands-free alternative already exists. It’s called speaker phone. Or blue tooth.

I hope this asshole spends the rest of his life haunted by this.

Pachy's avatar

How can Apple possibly be blamed? Never mind all the warnings we’re told about driving while using a phone. Doesn’t common sense tell you not to stare down at a tiny screen while driving?!

By the way,@ragingloli, I’m a Texan born and bred, and I never use my phone while driving, and I preach to my friends not to do it, not even hands-free.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Can’t really fault Apple here anymore than you can’t fault a car stereo manufacturer for someone causing a fatal wreck because they were fumbling around with a CD instead of paying attention to the road.

The problem with the gun analogy here is that when guns are used as intended living beings die.

“You can’t protect people from themselves. This loss is ,to me, natural selection. I know that sounds cold,but it is what it is. I’m glad he didn’t run over a bunch of kids at a crosswalk.”

Spot the one who didn’t read the article.

Dutchess_III's avatar

(Or even the details)....@MrGrimm888, a 5 year old girl died in the car he hit.

JLeslie's avatar

Of course Apple shouldn’t be found negligent or culpable in any way. The driver is “responsible” for the accident, for being distracted, but we should remember that at any moment at such a fast speed it’s only moments of distraction that can cause a crash. We don’t know how long his eyes were off the road. I’m not defending using face time while driving, I’m only saying one stupid mistake in the road can be catastrophic.

It’s interesting that suing facetime practically says the driver isn’t responsible, and you could also see a reason for the driver who caused the crash to justify suing Apple if you think Apple does have some responsibility. I don’t, but I’m just pointing it out.

Ultimately, it’s up to the driver to drive safely, or pull off the road.

I’ve heard stories of insurance not covering an accident if the person was texting or talking on the phone while driving. I don’t know if that’s true. I know when I was part of a suit that was one of the standard questions asked. I was even asked if I was on the phone, and I wasn’t driving.

chyna's avatar

@jleslie Just to clarify, the article says the family that was hit by the driver is suing Apple. Not the driver.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna I know. I said “also” implying in addition to.

elbanditoroso's avatar

And speaking of utterly off the wall lawsuits, read this article

The guy is suing Verizon for $72 million because he says that the phone company made it too easy for the guy to steal another person’s identity.

And because Verizon made it so easy, the guy (now a criminal) is deprived of his own liberty.

People are so weird…

flutherother's avatar

Just say the driver had been eating a real apple when he became distracted and crashed. Could the grocer shop be sued because they didn’t stick a warning notice on their product to say you shouldn’t eat while driving?

Pachy's avatar

YES, @flutherother, you’ve gotten right to the core of it!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Or or…what if he choked on a fake apple? He could sue the fake apple maker for not putting a sticker on it that it wasn’t meant for consumption.

flutherother's avatar

If Apple’s found guilty they will no doubt appeal the decision.

ragingloli's avatar

*tumbleweed rolls by

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@flutherother will be here all week and the Caesar Salad is fresh. ~~
Pocono Mountain humor

Pandora's avatar

When you are driving, you and you alone are responsible for driving responsibly. There are a ton of things in a car that can distract drivers. Punching buttons looking for radio stations, or looking for the window power button on the a/c.
With so much information about using your phone while driving, the driver is the sole responsible person. Who the hell face times while on the road? Who can’t wait till they get home safely before calling or texting?
I rarely answer my phone while driving unless it is set up through my car speakers where I only have to punch a button on my car steering wheel (and I do not have to look for it) to answer because its right under my right thumb. I make sure to set it up before driving away. I use my phone as my gps and it will announce who is calling. To make a call. I just press the same button and ask my phone to call.
Even then, I won’t answer when I am in heavy traffic. It can always wait. Never mind face time or skype. Many states have rules that only allow a hands free phone.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We have watched Sully several times since we got the DVD. One line in that that is SO wise, is when an experienced crop duster was teaching a 16 year old Sully to drive. The crop duster said, “And never forget you’re flying a plane.” That applies to cars, too. ”NEVER forget you are driving a car. I don’t care if a tarantula drops off the ceiling into your lap, you get that car safely stopped before you freak out!

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