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Apple Sued for Distracting Drivers With Unreleased Product

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on April 22, 2015 11:02 AM

T.S. Eliot wrote, "April is the cruellest month." The National Safety Council, on the other hand, declared April Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

The Coalition Against Distracted Driving (CADD) has decided to commemorate the occasion by filing a $1 billion (PER YEAR) lawsuit against Apple for distracting drivers with the Apple Watch, a product that no driver has been distracted by yet.

Hurry Up Please, It's Time

Apple will release its much-heralded Apple Watch to the public on April 24, 2015. On April 20, 2015, CADD filed a lawsuit in a Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming, among other things:

Viewing or using the Apple Watch while driving creates a far greater danger than using a smart phone while driving. There has been no public education campaign about the danger of smart watches while driving. Drivers should clearly be told about the dangers of smart watches while driving. Drivers should be clearly told that a smart watch should never be viewed while driving, because it renders the road ahead invisible. The driver might as well be blindfolded.

The suit, which the coalition describes as a public interest action is asking for Apple (along with co-defendants Samsung, Google, and Microsoft) to contribute $1 billion per year to dissuade the public from using smart watches while driving.

To date, the Apple Watch been implicated in no distracted driving accidents. Mostly because, other than a few choice celebrities, no one owns an Apple Watch yet, let alone drives around while distracted by one.

One Must Be So Careful These Days

Even if the Apple Watch isn't to blame yet, distracted driving is a serious issue. The CDC estimates that nine people are killed and another thousand are injured every day due to distracted driving accidents. In response, states have been strengthening their distracted driving laws; especially those regarding driving while texting or using a cell phone.

Whether the Apple Watch or other smart watches will be singled out with specific legislation remains to be seen. Similar attempts to ban drivers from wearing Google Glass have stalled and tickets for merely wearing the tech specs have been dismissed. CADD's preemptive suit, while ambitious, will also likely fail without some show of actual harm.

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