Without a doubt, technology is one of the biggest distractions behind the wheel. Apple released the first iPhone model over a decade ago, and since then our brains have become rewired to respond to notification after notification — even when we’re operating heavy machinery.
But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out that texting is the most alarming distraction. The act of reading a text and responding uses all three types of distraction — manual, cognitive and visual. Also, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds; if you’re driving 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
But just as tech can be wildly dangerous, it also has the ability to keep our bad habits in check. Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving Feature is the newest step in that direction. When the iOS11 feature is activated, the iPhone will withhold notifications whenever it’s connected to a moving car using either Bluetooth or a cable. The phone will also automatically respond to texts with a message telling the recipient that the user is driving and can’t respond at the moment.
If you’re not using this feature and you have an iPhone with iOS11, I strongly urge you to give it a try. Here’s how to set it up on your phone:
You can let Do Not Disturb while driving turn on automatically or manually. To turn on any of these options, you’ll need to do the following:
- Go to Settings > Scroll down to Do Not Disturb While Driving and tap Activate. You can then elect to have the feature turn on automatically, when connect to your car’s Bluetooth, or manually.
If you elect to use the feature manually, you can also add it to your Control Center for quick access:
- Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Tap the + sign next to Do Not Disturb While Driving. You will now be able to swipe up from the bottom of your screen and turn the feature on or off.
Even if you’re a diligent non-smartphone user when behind the wheel, Do Not Disturb While Driving is a good safety net to avoid the temptation to pick up your phone. It is our hope that the feature is the beginning of even more tech tools that will help all of us drive without distractions.
ABOUT JOHN BAIR
John Bair is an experienced settlement planner and financial consultant with a passion for ending distracted driving. As a frequent EndDD.org volunteer, he has spoken to audiences around the country. To assist others in raising awareness, John has written numerous guides and articles about giving successful EndDD.org presentations in schools, business, and community settings. He is a proud board member of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.enddd.org/.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).