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Apple’s iOS 11 Includes “Do Not Disturb While Driving”

New iPhone feature “Do Not Disturb” helps you be a better driver

smartphone while drivingThis week at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Apple introduced its new operating system, iOS 11, available this fall. Among the many new features, there’s one we’re particularly excited about. The “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature can detect when you’re driving, and silence notifications and disable certain apps that may tempt you to look at your phone.

Here’s how it works

When the phone is connected to your car via Bluetooth or a cable, it detects that the car is moving, turning on the feature will mute notifications, texts, and updates and lock your phone screen to deter you from using unnecessary apps behind the wheel. If you still have anxiety about letting calls and messages go unanswered, you can set up an auto-reply for your favorite contacts. This will let the person know that you’re driving and you’ll respond as soon as you reach your destination. Some features, like Apple Maps or hands-free Car Play will still function. The feature can be disabled by a passenger or co-pilot so that they can change the music or input a GPS destination while you remain focused on the road and avoid car accidents.

Technology and deadly distraction

For a long time, safety advocates have urged auto and tech companies to step up in the fight against distracted driving. And for good reason – traffic deaths are on the rise, and distraction is the main cause. As many as 8 people die each day from distracted driving accidents alone. Nearly every state in the U.S. prohibits texting while driving by law.  Safety groups have launched numerous campaigns against this behavior, reminding drivers that “it can wait.” But the behavior persists, and people lose their lives over something so foolish.

So, in addition to campaigning to change people’s behavior, safety advocates have turned to the tech industry for help. Apple’s move to automatically supply its users with this capability is encouraging. While users do have to enable the feature in order to use it, this update makes it very easy to do so. If you want to do better but have had trouble breaking the habit, this feature may help you retrain your brain behind the wheel.

If you were involved in a distracted driving accident with another driver, our car accident lawyers can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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