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New iPhone feature could lead to safer roads

Here at Big Motoring World, we were really pleased to hear about a new feature on the latest iPhone software that we hope will really make a difference to driver safety. The Do Not Disturb for Driving feature on iOS11 is specifically designed to prevent people from being distracted by messages while they’re on the road.

Do not disturb

We’ve talked in previous posts about the dangers of drivers using a mobile - whether handheld or hands-free - and the impact it has on the reaction times and levels of attention that a driver can give to the road ahead. There is plenty of research to show that drivers who use mobiles while driving their cars are four times more likely to have an accident - and even hands-free devices aren’t much safer, due to the effect that being distracted has on our attention levels. However the lure of our smartphones is a tough addiction to break – so any help we can all get from the technology company is very welcome indeed.

A welcome development

It’s a positive move from Apple then, who have included the new mode as standard in the latest version of their operating software for the iPhone. Released in the autumn, the feature will now prevent any messages that have been sent while you’re driving from being shown on screen. The mode will be activated by connecting the device to Bluetooth or if the phone is connected to the car via a cable.

Automatic reply

The person who is sending you the text will automatically receive a reply saying that you’re not available to come back to them at the moment - although they can still reach you in an emergency by including the word ‘urgent’ in any text. The mode also works for notifications, so you’ll no longer be distracted by that marketing email popping into your inbox while you’re on the road.

A positive first step

It’s great to see that Apple consider this an issue that’s important enough for them to address with this new feature – and we’re looking forward to seeing how the rest of the mobile phone industry responds.