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Can Phone Manufacturers Help Prevent Distracted Driving?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 19-Jun-2017

Last November, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) called upon app developers and smartphone manufacturers to help curb the number of distracted driving accidents in the US. This call to action was warranted, as distracted driving caused 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries during 2015 alone. NHTSA asked phone manufacturers to create software that would work with vehicle infotainment systems to disable many phone features. Apple might be among the first of the major phone manufacturers to respond to NHTSA’s call to action.

Apple’s new “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature for iOS 11 is designed to make it less tempting for motorists to check their devices while driving. Once motorists begin moving, their devices will prompt them to turn on the new feature. After being turned on, the feature will block notifications and app usage. It will also send automatic responses to text messages, warning contacts that users are driving. In theory, this should reduce the temptation for motorists to check text messages, emails or other alerts while driving. Passengers would also be able to override this new feature.

Are There Downsides to Apple’s “Do Not Disturb While Driving” Mode?

Unfortunately, this new feature may have some downsides. Much like passengers, drivers could override the new feature. In other cases, they may simply neglect turning on the feature after being prompted. However, some Apple users could decide to use the app, which may reduce the risk of an accident.

While there may be downsides to Apple’s new Do Not Disturb While Driving mode, it does signify that phone manufacturers might be starting to take distracted driving seriously. Do you think other phone manufacturers should follow suit and develop features similar to Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving mode? Let us know what you think by connecting with the Washington DC car accident attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC on Facebook.

Categories: Distracted Driving
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