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New iPhone “Do Not Disturb” Feature May Help Drivers Avoid Car Accident

In 2015 alone, distracted driving was responsible for 3,477 deaths in America, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It should come as no surprise that cell phones are one of the more common distractors. Fortunately, some cell phone manufacturers are facing the problem head-on by offering consumers new features to reduce driver distractions.

In an effort to stop distracted driving and prevent car accidents, on September 19, 2017, with the launch of the new iOS 11 operating system, Apple unveiled the new “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature. The ability to silence an iPhone is not new. However, the new iOS 11 feature is a bit different. It is designed to automatically detect when the user is in a vehicle in motion. The technology is designed to disallow phone calls, text messages, and notifications when in motion. This could be good news because it would remove the temptation to quickly check a text or social media notification. It also means calls would go straight to voicemail.

How to Set up “Do Not Disturb While Driving” on iPhone IOS 11

Unlike prior operating systems that just allowed users to choose ‘do not disturb,’ the new system will offer three distinct ways to use the feature:

  1. Manually, just like before;
  2. Automatically, as soon as the iPhone detects a vehicle in motion; OR
  3. Upon being paired with a car’s Bluetooth.

To make a selection, the user goes to Settings > Do not disturb > Do not disturb while driving. From there, users choose from one of three options listed above. Apple says new phones featuring IOS 11 and existing users who first install the new operating system will be prompted to make a selection once the phone detects a vehicle in motion.

What About Passengers in the Vehicle?

Passengers can easily turn off the feature. The new operating system does not lock users out of their phones or prohibit any basic functions; it allows users to choose the setting that suits them best. When set to manual, users will have to make a deliberate choice each time they get behind the wheel. Similarly, with the Bluetooth option, the feature does nothing unless paired to Bluetooth.

So, the automatic feature is the only one that truly allows the phone to “pre-empt” distraction by silencing incoming calls, messages, and notifications. For this reason, it seems this would be the best setting to use if someone really wants to avoid the temptation to answer calls or check notifications while driving. According to the company, emergency notifications are still allowed, and people who need to reach a user can send a message stating “Urgent.” This gives the iPhone user the option to pull over and return the text or phone call. Apple offers a more comprehensive guide to the feature on their site.

Will Using “Do Not Disturb While Driving” Help Avoid Car Accidents in Long Island?

It is hard to know whether the new iPhone technology will have a significant impact on distracted driving collisions. For one, the feature appears to be unique to Apple for the time being. Apple users account for a little over 40% of smartphone users in the U.S. While significant, that still leaves a lot of people without this feature. Likewise, it remains to be seen just how many people are willing to use the setting.

Injured by a Distracted Driver? Contact our Long Island Car Accident Attorneys Today!

Personal injury lawyers routinely help people injured in automobile collisions, and cell phone distractions remain one of the biggest reasons people are seriously injured in in wrecks. If you are injured by a distracted driver, there are strict limits on the time you have to pursue compensation for your injuries. If you are injured, schedule a free consultation with the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP by calling (866) 895-0420.

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