Cutter Law P.C.

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Distracted driving remains a huge threat to motorists, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Study after study shows the dangers of distracted driving. But despite this, people continue to engage in all types of dangerous driving behaviors involving a phone.

A new feature on iPhone may help people cut down or completely stop distracted driving.

The iOS 11 update on iPhone comes with a feature called "Do Not Disturb While Driving". When the feature is enabled, the driver will not receive phone calls or text messages while driving. The sender/caller receives an auto response stating that the driver is not available.

Enabling Do Not Disturb While Driving

First, iOS 11 needs to be running on the phone. The user may need to update to the latest version.

Follow these steps to activate the feature on your phone:

  • Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb
  • Under Activate, choose one of three Do Not Disturb While Driving options:
    • Automatically: The feature activates when the phone senses driving
    • When Connected To Bluetooth: The feature activates when the phone connects to Bluetooth
    • Manually: The user manually turns the feature on

A variety of custom options are available:

  • The user can chose to receive calls from certain contacts while driving (Settings > Do Not Disturb > Allow Calls From)
  • The user can choose to have the feature on only during certain hours (Settings > Do Not Disturb > Scheduled)
  • The user can activate Repeated Calls (Settings > Do Not Disturb > Repeated Calls) which means that "a second call from the same person within three minutes will not be silenced"

A similar feature is available on Android: Do Not Disturb. Users can choose from three options: Total Silence, Alarms Only, and Priority Only.

Each driver is ultimately responsible for his or her behavior behind the wheel: Distracted driving is a choice. But these new safety features could deter many drivers from picking up their phones while driving, and ultimately help prevent many distracted-driving related accidents.

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