Apple Blamed For FaceTime Car Crash 

A man in Texas killed a 5-year-old girl because he was distracted by FaceTime on his iPhone. His family is now suing Apple. Is this the world we live in?

Source: Washington Post (opens in new window)

FaceTime, Calls & Distracted Driving

This is the perfect example of how dangerous it can be to use a phone while driving a vehicle. Traffic and roads change in a heartbeat and if you’re not paying attention you can get into trouble real fast.

So what happened here is a guy rear-ended another vehicle because he was using FaceTime on his iPhone. As a result, the little girl in the car in front died from her injuries. This is clearly a tragic accident and hopefully by now the Modisette family will maybe be starting to come to terms with the loss (the article is recent but the story dates back to 2014).

Accept Responsibility

The driver of the SUV (of course it would be an SUV), Garrett Wilhelm, was charged with manslaughter and the case is currently in progress. However, the family is attempting to blame Apple for not putting some kind of lock on the phone to stop people using it while driving.

Apple, Inc., failed to configure the iPhone 6 Plus to ‘lock-out’ the ability for a driver to utilize (Apple’s) ‘FaceTime’ application while driving at highway speeds…

This is exactly the kind of thing that really makes me angry. He either made the outgoing call himself or chose to answer an incoming one. Apple doesn’t let calls or FaceTime connect automatically. I can’t even understand why this case is even getting attention in court. I’d have kicked their ass straight back out the door.

Software Locks

So they have suggested the iPhone simply not let you use any functions while driving at highway speeds. Which makes sense until you actually think about it. That would also prevent passengers using their phones while in a vehicle. The phone can’t know which seat you’re sitting in and you can’t just force everyone to stop using their phones while safely in the passenger seats.

But you also shouldn’t need to. This is a conscious decision made by an adult.

Blame-Shifting Culture

The article cites other situations where individuals have tried to do the same thing too. People do something stupid, get caught out and then try anything they can to shift the blame away from themselves. If you’re going to do something stupid, at least own it. Accept that you made a mistake and move on. Don’t try to make it someone else’s fault.

And yes, this isn’t about video games but I really wanted to get it off my chest. Normal service will resume.