Google & Apple: stop road deaths and injury from mobile phones

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Pictured is my cycling teammate Graham. He was a paramedic and a cyclist. Our team would go cycling every Sunday. Recently, that all changed forever.

On one of those cycle trips, a driver became distracted using her mobile. Graham was as far left to the shoulder as he could safely be. But her four wheel drive catapulted him off his bike from behind almost killing him.

Graham is now a lifelong paraplegic.

This picture is the day he was released from hospital 6 months after the accident. He is devastated.

It’s heartbreaking. He recently said: "It's the simple things in my life that I miss the most, like holding my wife's hand when we go for a walk. I miss a full body hug.” His life had changed forever.

All because the driver was distracted while using their mobile phone.

70% of drivers now admit to using their mobile phone while driving. Distracted drivers from mobile phone use is now regarded as the #1 safety issue on our roads globally. These accidents are completely preventable.

Apple and Google have the power and the technology to change this.

They could auto-enable their existing “Do Not Disturb” function on their smartphones, which can activate as soon as a vehicle starts moving. You could still use maps and Bluetooth. You just wouldn’t be distracted by notifications or text messages.

The current "opt-in" setting isn’t working due to our severe addiction to these devices - so it needs to be opt out, or people won’t use it. If users opt out, then cause death or serious injury, this could then be logged in court.

Smartphone distraction on our roads is killing people and ruining lives like Graham’s.

We take drink driving seriously. It’s time for our technology companies, Apple and Google, to take responsibility and stop causing deaths and injury by not acting on this.



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