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Lawsuit Seeks Order to Educate Drivers About Distracted Driving

In May of 2015, AT&T conducted a survey related to cell phone usage. The survey revealed some shocking information with respect to what has been termed a nationwide epidemic — cell phone usage while driving.

The problem has gotten so bad that the Coalition Against Distracted Driving (CADD) sued several smartphone makers (Samsung, Apple, Google and Microsoft), seeking an order requiring them to put in place a $1 billion program that is geared toward enlightening and educating drivers about the dangers associated with using their smartphones while operating a motor vehicle.

Who is CADD? They are a public interest group who works to promote “effective and ongoing public education about the risks and dangers of distracted driving, thereby preventing injuries and saving lives.”

A Closer Look at the Lawsuit

According to the lawsuit, CADD alleges that smartphone makers are well aware of the temptation individuals have to look at their smartphone or smartwatch screens once they receive an alert. They further claim that the need to look at the phone is a quasi-addictive or addictive behavior, and based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statistics that just about 660,000 drivers manipulate or use their phones and/or some type of electronic device while driving, everyone is faced with a major problem.

More specifically, the complaint noted that individuals (especially those under 18 years of age) use their smartphones and smartwatches while driving — even for non-emergency purposes and the smartphone makers “knew and could reasonably foresee” that happening. As part of the complaint, CADD also mentioned a number of smartphone apps that ultimately result in distracted driving, such as the interactive map app, Waze, as well as the apps for Lyft and Uber drivers — both of which require the driver to accept fares while operating the vehicle.

Essentially, the point that CADD is making in the complaint is the fact that such behavior clearly demonstrates that many drivers are incapable of appreciating the full extent of the issue surrounding smartphone and smartwatch usage and the ways in which they substantially lower a person’s ability to focus on the task at hand — driving. Simply put, CADD suggests that consumers simply don’t “know, understand, realize, or appreciate that even one or two seconds of mental distraction are enough time to cause a crash.”

Given the problem, CADD believes the phone makers have a responsibility and duty to warn both current and future customers of the risks and dangers of cell phone usage while operating a motor vehicle. CADD isn’t seeking damages in the lawsuit, but rather they want the phone makers to work to educate consumers and prevent distracted driving accidents from occurring in the future.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident that may have been caused by a distracted driver, contact a Denver personal injury lawyer at Levine Law right away to learn more about your rights and options under the law. Our attorneys can help.

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