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Should Phone Makers Work To Curb Texting While Driving?

Since smart phones have become omnipresent, the conundrum of solving the distracted driving problem has existed. Too often, news stories will emerge of distracted teens or adults texting while driving, causing, at best, a minor fender bender, and at worst, a serious accident with fatalities. States across the nation have reacted, passing laws to punish those caught texting while operating a motor vehicle. But the question also emerges: how much responsibility do phone makers like Apple and Samsung have to create phones and/or technology that attempts to curb distracted driving?

The Technology Exists

According to court records, tech giant Apple has already filed a patent for technology that would prevent texting while driving, as reported by the New York Times. However, Apple and other telecommunications companies have yet to implement anything of the sort. Instead, they’re relying on drivers self-monitoring, or on pushing alternative technology, such as CarPlay, designed to make it easier to use voice commands while driving, rather than reaching for the phone.

Apple’s dilemma is understood across the industry: the first company to implement software that blocks your phone while driving will probably lose customers to a competitor who has yet to adapt such technology. For this reason, Apple, Samsung and Verizon are pushing alternatives.

However, it is without dispute that serious motor vehicle accidents that occur as a result of distracted driving—often associated with cell phone usage—are at their highest point in 50 years. Is it enough to rely on the driver to remain focused on the road? Or should the companies be working towards preventing possible future accidents?

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