Why Mobile Phone Manufactures Won’t Help to Stop Distracted Driving

Mobile Phone Manufacturers Can Stop Distracted Driving

Cell phones, mobile phones, smartphones, regardless of what they are called appear to be the leading cause of distracted driving. Motorists of all ages can’t seem to resist the temptation to check their phones for messages, call, email and social media while they are driving.

In a recent article in the New York Times, mobile phone manufacturers and the mobile phone networks have the technology to prevent drivers from using their phones while operating a motor vehicle. Specifically, Apple holds a patent from 2008 that provides a service which can disable certain iPhone features such as text messaging when the device determines that the owner is driving. Sadly, Apple and companies in similar positions; Samsung, Google have the technology to prevent distracted driving from cell phone use but have not deployed that technology. The question Young Drivers of Canada would like to ask is Why?

Reasons Cell Phone Manufacturers Won’t Help To Stop Distracted Driving

There are several reasons why mobile manufacturers do not deploy the technology to deter distracted driving from their devices. The include:

1. The potential loss of sales. No company wants to be seen upon as being Big Brother. In a highly competitive market, cell phone manufacturers don’t want to be seen as taking away a customer’s rights. It is bad for business.

2. Mobile networks and cellphone manufacturers create agreements amongst themselves that include access and service standard requirements. Reducing access to certain functions could make those contracts invalid.

3. People, in general, should be able to choose their behaviours for the most part. When those choices begin to affect others, we want the government to step in.  As an example, smoking and second-hand smoke exposure and subsequent changes in legislation. Smokers have been prevented from their activity around people because it affects others.

Unfortunately when it comes to distracted driving, despite continued media awareness and a growing safety hazard, the general populous still does not take the increasing problem seriously. In short, it hasn’t affected them yet, so that means they are not concerned.

Laws are slowly changing, however, and that could mean a wake-up call for smartphone manufacturers. In the United States, a recent lawsuit in Texas has named Apple as a defendant. The plaintiff’s in the claim have suggested that the driver who caused a fatal collision was checking her messages at the time of the crash. It remains to be seen if the arguments pursue a judge that the smartphone manufacturer played a part in the crash which resulted in a death and a paralyzed child.

If a phone manufacturer such as Apple and mobile networks have the tools to reduce distracted driving inclusive of deaths and injuries, then they should step up and do it. Apple has a unique following of users. If they tell their users, it is not the Apple thing to do, to drive distracted then the die-hard Apple fans could change the way drivers use their smartphones while driving. After all, Apple has just changed the way their users listen to music by eliminating the headphone jack. Imagine what they could do for distracted driving.