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Do Not Wear Apple Vision Pro While Driving, Feds Warn

by  on  Car Accidents & Motor Vehicle Collisions

Let this be a reminder of how reckless – and prone to distraction – some drivers are the next time you hit the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is warning drivers not to wear virtual reality headsets while behind the wheel. The seemingly unnecessary move comes after videos recently surfaced of drivers donning Apple’s new Vision Pro goggles popped up on social media sites.

Mixing VR and driving is “reckless and disregards the safety of everyone on the road,” a NHTSA spokesperson told Newsweek. The spokesperson also noted that driver distraction is one of the leading causes of accidents across the country.

The Vision Pro headsets, recently rolled out by Apple with a $3,500 price tag, allow users to interact with and control apps with their fingers and eyes. Apple calls the technology “spatial computing,” which can merge the digital and physical worlds.

It seems obvious that adding driving to that mix is a colossally bad idea. Yet, videos of drivers with headsets on began popping up shortly after Vision Pro’s unveiling.

One video making the rounds on X, formerly Twitter, shows a man wearing the goggles while in the driver’s seat of a moving Tesla. His hands are off the wheel for the entire 25-second clip.

Tesla is already under fire for safety concerns stemming from its Autopilot and other driver-assist technology. It is designed to allow cars to steer, accelerate and brake automatically – without a human driver controlling the vehicle – while staying in their lane. 

NHTSA is investigating a number of accidents involving Tesla vehicles in which Autopilot was apparently engaged. The probe covers more than 800,000 Tesla vehicles equipped with the technology.

“There are no fully autonomous vehicles available for sale today,” the NHTSA spokesperson told Newsweek. “As NHTSA has stated consistently, all vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems require a fully attentive human driver performing the driving task and monitoring the surrounding environment at all times. Every state in the nation holds the driver responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle.”

A video of another driver using a Vision Pro behind the wheel of a Tesla Cybertruck prompted a response from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

“Reminder—ALL advanced driver assistance systems available today require the human driver to be in control and fully engaged in the driving task at all times,” Buttigieg said in a Tweet.

For its part, Apple warns Vision Pro users against strapping on a headset and going for a drive.

It is “important to use the device in a safe manner,” Apple says in the Vision Pro user guide. “Never use the device while operating a moving vehicle, bicycle, heavy machinery, or in any other situations requiring attention to safety.”

Distracted Driving Kills 

Drivers do not need to be wearing the latest tech gadgets to get distracted on the road. Distraction is already all too common in Colorado and across the country.

More than 3,500 people are killed and another 360,000 injured nationwide each year in crashes caused by distracted drivers, NHTSA data show. Distracted driving accounts for about 5 percent of all fatal accidents annually.

Distracted driving comes in many shapes and sizes, from sipping a coffee or eating behind the wheel to tinkering with a GPS system or checking email on a smartphone.

It takes motorists’ attention from the road, reducing reaction time and increasing the risk of mistakes. 

It is not just drivers who can become distracted. Videos have also popped up showing pedestrians walking around with Vision Pro goggles. Pedestrian distraction – and failure to comply with local laws (like using crosswalks) – is a common factor in accidents involving people traveling by two feet.

Legal Rights for People Injured in Car Accidents

Anyone who is injured in a car accident in Colorado, whether it is caused by a distracted driver or other factors, has the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the collision. 

An experienced Denver car accident attorney can help you seek compensation for medical bills, property damages, missed wages and other financial impacts stemming from your injuries. Additionally, punitive damages may also be available in certain cases involving particularly reckless behavior.

In the tragic event that a person is killed in a distracted driving accident, a lawyer can also help certain family members pursue a wrongful death case.

Colorado state law limits who can pursue a wrongful death case to spouses, children and parents. In the event that a person dies without a spouse, child or parent, the personal representative of his or her estate can sue for wrongful death. 

Obviously, the money damages available in wrongful death cases will not allow you to go back in time and stop the accident from happening. It will not bring back your loved one. Compensation can, however, ease some of the financial burden that often comes with these tragic accidents.

To get compensation for an accident, you generally have to be able to prove negligence. 

State law requires drivers in Colorado to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. That means complying with traffic laws and refraining from dangerous activity behind the wheel.

A driver who becomes distracted while operating a vehicle – whether the person is texting or fiddling with GPS controls – is likely to be considered negligent and responsible for any accidents that happen as a result. 

A seasoned lawyer can help you show that the driver was distracted, prove that the distraction caused the crash and detail the injuries stemming from the accident. An attorney can also help you ensure that your auto insurer steps up and provides the full coverage available under your policy.

Speak with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car, truck, motorcycle or other accident in Colorado, a Denver car accident lawyer at Levine Law can help you understand your rights and get compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and a strong track record of success in the courtroom and through negotiated settlements.

We are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer.