Apple just announced a new iPhone feature designed to prevent texting while driving. Apple will introduce the new feature in iOS 11, the upcoming version of operating software for their mobile devices.
How will the new feature prevent texting and driving?
"Do Not Disturb While Driving" (DNDWD) prevents distractions from text messages while driving. Once you activate DNDWD, it will be able to tell when your device connects to your car via Bluetooth or a cable.
Even if your device and car are not connected, the feature will use Wi-Fi to measure when your device is in a moving vehicle. Instead of displaying incoming text messages, news updates, and other notifications, your screen will stay dark.
The feature will also block many other apps on the iPhone. You will be able to Apple apps; however, you will be unable to input any addresses. Google Maps will still work but it will be more difficult to use. You will still be able to use Apple CarPlay to listen and respond to text messages by using voice commands.
What happens if someone sends me a text message while I am driving?
That person will receive an auto response that reads: “I'll see your message when I get where I'm going."
Note: You can select people who will be able to break through the blocking feature in the event of an emergency or something else extremely urgent.
But what if I am a passenger, not a driver?
If you are a passenger in the car, you can indicate that you are not driving the car. This will disable the feature. This also means that DNDWD feature will not be as effective as a total block on text messages and notifications because drivers can simply claim to be passengers and override the feature.
When will Do Not Disturb While Driving be available?
According to Car and Driver magazine, the new function will debut in the fall of 2017, when Apple launches its next mobile operating system update. Do Not Disturb While Driving will be an expansion of Apple’s existing Do Not Disturb feature.
Reaction from the public is mixed. Some are skeptical that those who need it most will actually use it. Others are glad to see Apple taking the issue of distracted driving seriously.
How dangerous is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers took the lives of 3,477 people and injured an additional 391,000 people in 2015. Cell phones were responsible for 442 fatal crashes. In these crashes, the police report indicated the driver was using a cell phone at the time of the accident.
Distracted driving is especially dangerous for teens who are already at a disadvantage due to their inexperience. While DNDWD will not eliminate distracted driving in its entirety, it will hopefully prompt more drivers to make better, safer decisions while driving.
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