Apple Leads the Charge for Fewer Distracted Drivers with new iOS Update
Don’t text and drive. Period. According to the Department of Transportation, distracted driving, including being distracted by a text or phone call, accounted for 16% of all vehicle crash deaths on Wisconsin roads in 2015. In 2016, one-hundred and twenty-one people lost their lives in distracted driving related traffic accidents in Wisconsin. Every year, more than 11,000 personal injuries are caused by distracted drivers.
Statistics like these across the country likely drove a new feature in Apple’s latest update to the iPhone’s iOS 11 – a Do Not Disturb While Driving Feature.
This new feature in iOS 11 is not enabled by default, but can be easily enabled by Opening the Settings app > touching “Do Not Disturb” > scrolling down to “Do Not Disturb While Driving” > and selecting “Activate.” From there, you can set how you want Do Not Disturb While Driving to operate. You can turn it on manually, have it come on automatically when your iPhone detects that your car is moving, or when your iPhone connects to your car’s Bluetooth. Don’t worry though, even with the automatic setting, if you’re a passenger you can easily tap the Do Not Disturb notification and disable Do Not Disturb; and, unlike with Pokemon Go, your phone will regain full functionality when you tell it you’re a passenger.
With Do Not Disturb, you can set an auto reply that will be sent to anyone who texts you while you are driving. You can also customize the reply to your liking. The texter will also be prompted that they can text the word “urgent” to you if there is an emergency and the text will then go through and notify you despite Do Not Disturb being activated.
Apart from texts, Do Not Disturb While Driving will also block phone calls. Though the setting is clever enough to know if your phone is connected to a hands-free or Bluetooth accessory and will route the call through there if available. Otherwise, the call will be blocked just like a text.
iOS 11 also includes an option for parental restrictions that will keep younger users from disabling Do Not Disturb While Driving. This setting will allow parents to lock down their teens’ phones while they’re driving.
With this new setting, Apple has taken a strong stance against distracted driving and the personal injuries and often wrongful deaths that can result from it. The setting can still be turned off, but it is at least available, and users are notified of its availability rather than it being buried in the iPhone’s settings.
If you think you have been injured as the result of a distracted driver see a doctor, and, as always, please call Groth Law Firm, S.C. with any questions. We are available 24/7 to discuss your options as the victim of a negligent driver. Our initial consultations are always free.