Is Apple liable over a fatal car crash involving FaceTime? That’s the question being asked in a lawsuit filed against Apple by the family of a five-year-old girl killed in a Texas car crash.
Moriah Modisette was killed and her father seriously injured when driver Garrett Willhelm plowed into their car at 65 mph on a Texas highway on Christmas Eve 2014.
As reported by Fortune, Willhelm was chatting on FaceTime at the time of the crash, and the app was still running as rescue workers tried to extricate the injured passengers from the mangled car.
In the lawsuit, the family claims that Apple had failed to install a “lock-out” feature on FaceTime that would prevent drivers from using the app while on the road.
In 2014, 3,179 people were killed in distraction-affected crashes, and 431,000 people injured, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
But apps are not all bad. Several app developers are working to create ways to help make your cellphone a tool in the fight against distracted driving, rather than a cause of it.
Check out DMV.org for distracted driving apps that incentivize safe driving by keeping your attention off your phone and on the road.
USA Today reviewed other apps aimed at preventing distracted driving here.