distracted driving


'distracted driving' Articles

Ontario Judge Finds Woman Guilty of Distracted Driving for Looking at Apple Watch

A Canadian woman has been found guilty of distracted driving for looking at her Apple Watch, despite claims that she was just checking the time while waiting for a red light to change (via The National Post). A judge in the Ontario Court of Justice ordered University of Guelph student Victoria Ambrose to pay a $400 fine, after determining that she had spent too much time staring at her smartwatch while being in control of a vehicle. According to court documents, the woman was ticketed after a police officer noticed the glow from an electronic gadget coming from the woman's car, which was stationary beside his cruiser at a red light. The officer reported that he saw the woman look up and down at the device four times in 20 seconds, and then fail to move forward when the light turned green. The officer then shone a light into her car and she began to drive. When he pulled her over, he realized that she had been looking at an Apple Watch. In Ontario, it is illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices, such as smartphones, portable media players, GPS systems and laptops. Previously, the province had not designated the Apple Watch or other smartwatches as being illegal to use while operating a motor vehicle. However, in judging Ambrose's case, Justice of the Peace Lloyd Phillipps rejected her argument that the Apple Watch being on her wrist satisfies an exemption for devices securely mounted inside the vehicle. "Checking one's timepiece is normally done in a

Apple Insists It's Not Responsible For Distracted Driving Accidents Involving iPhones

Apple appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday to argue that it shouldn't be held liable for iPhone-related distracted driving accidents, in response to a lawsuit filed against the company earlier this year. California resident Julio Ceja filed a class action complaint against Apple in January, accusing the company of placing profit before consumer safety by choosing not to implement a lock-out mechanism that would disable an iPhone's functionality when being used behind the wheel by an engaged driver. Ceja said his vehicle was involved in a collision with another vehicle in which the driver was texting on an iPhone. Apple, however, told the court that it's a driver's fault if they choose to misuse an inherently safe iPhone while operating a vehicle. Apple essentially said it cannot be blamed simply because it manufactures the device, according to court documents filed electronically and obtained by MacRumors. Just yesterday, a U.S. district court in Texas dismissed a similar distracted driving lawsuit brought against Apple last year. In that case, Meador v. Apple, Inc., the plaintiffs accused Apple of failing to automatically disable a user's ability to operate an iPhone while driving, and of improper marketing. However, judge Robert W. Schroeder III said the plaintiff's injuries stemmed from neglecting to safely operate her vehicle.When a driver negligently operates her vehicle because she is engaging in compulsive or addictive behaviors such as eating food, drinking alcohol, or smoking tobacco, it is the driver's negligence in engaging in

Apple Sued for Choosing Not to 'Lock-Out' iPhones Behind the Wheel to Prevent Texting and Driving

California resident Julio Ceja is seeking a class action lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of placing profit before consumer safety by choosing not to implement a lock-out mechanism that would disable an iPhone's functionality when being used behind the wheel by an engaged driver. Ceja demands that Apple halt the sale of all iPhones in California until a lock-out mechanism is implemented. He also demands that Apple release a software update that adds a lock-out mechanism to all iPhones already in the hands of consumers. He is not seeking further damages beyond legal fees and costs. The complaint, filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, asserts that Apple's willful decision not to implement a lock-out mechanism on iPhones, chiefly to prevent texting and driving, constitutes "unfair business acts and practices" under California's Unfair Competition Law. A jury trial has been demanded. Ceja asserts that Apple's "enormous market share" means that it is the "largest contributor" to texting and driving, while noting it is "downright shocking" that smartphone companies like Apple "do nothing to help shield the public at large from the dangers associated with the use of their phones." "If texting and driving is a vessel of trouble, Apple is the captain of the ship," the complaint alleges. The complaint claims that Apple recognized the dangers of texting and driving, and the important role it should play in stopping it, in its lock-out mechanism patent filed in 2008 and published in 2014. The patent notes that "texting while driving has

U.S. Transportation Department Proposes Simplified 'Driver Mode' to Help Curb Distracted Driving

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed new federal guidelines [PDF] intended to reduce distracted driving caused by smartphone use behind the wheel. The voluntary guidelines recommend smartphone makers like Apple develop a Driver Mode, a simplified interface that would prevent access to non-driving-related tasks such as manual text messaging, social media content, automatically scrolling text, and viewing images and video not related to driving. Driver Mode would not be initiated if the smartphone is already paired to a vehicle's infotainment system, while certain features such as maps and access to emergency services and alerts would not be locked out. The NHTSA said technologies exist that could detect whether a driver is using a smartphone behind the wheel, and presumably enable Driver Mode, but refinements are still being made to ensure reliability. In the meantime, Driver Mode would have to be manually enabled by drivers who choose to use it. Smartphone use while driving continues to be a major problem, despite the safety risks to drivers, passengers, and other drivers sharing the road. The NHTSA said driver distraction was responsible for 10% of fatal crashes, 18% of crashes causing injuries, and 16% of all traffic crashes in the United States in 2014, the most recent year in which detailed distracted driving crash data is available. In total, the year had 385 fatal crashes that involved the use of a cell phone."Distracted driving is a deadly epidemic that has devastating consequences on

New Study Finds Siri More Distracting Than Google Now While Driving

Siri and other voice-activated systems can cause potentially unsafe mental distractions lasting several seconds while driving, according to a new research study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Siri's score of 3.4 on the five-point scale is considered more distracting than Google Now's 3.0 score, but less distracting than Microsoft Cortana, which received a 3.8 rating. AAA's mental distraction rankings also included vehicles, ranging from the least distracting Chevy Equinox at 2.4 to the Mazda 6 at 4.6, which is nearly the highest level of cognitive distraction. The study found that mental distractions can persist for as long as 27 seconds after using hands-free or voice-activated systems, as drivers readjust to the task of driving.“The lasting effects of mental distraction pose a hidden and pervasive danger that would likely come as a surprise to most drivers,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The results indicate that motorists could miss stop signs, pedestrians and other vehicles while the mind is readjusting to the task of driving.” Researchers found that potentially unsafe levels of mental distraction can last for as long as 27 seconds after completing a distracting task in the worst-performing systems studied. At the 25 MPH speed limit in the study, drivers traveled the length of nearly three football fields during this time. When using the least distracting systems, drivers remained impaired for more than 15 seconds after completing a task.AAA's mental distraction rankings while driving are broken

Distracted Driving Laws Yet to Catch Up With Apple Watch

While several states and countries have laws in place that make operating a handheld device such as a smartphone or portable media player illegal, the release of the Apple Watch has created a gray area in terms of distracted driving legislation. Given that the Apple Watch is technically not a handheld device, the laws in many jurisdictions are left open to interpretation at this point. Regardless of the laws in your local area, it is highly recommended that you keep your eyes on the road and remain focused on driving at all times. Using your Apple Watch while driving is dangerous for both you and the drivers sharing the road with you, no matter how skilled of a driver you may be, and distracted driving in general is still a punishable offense in many jurisdictions.