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iPhones Combating Distracted Driving

iPhones Combating Distracted Driving

Everyone knows that texting while driving is foolish and can be deadly. But many drivers simply cannot resist looking at a message once they know it has arrived. Have you often wished there was a way to avoid temptation by blocking text messages automatically while you drive? Now there is, if you use an Apple iPhone. (You can also do it on an Android phone, sort of, if you are running the right messaging app.)

The iPhone screen and many of the apps will be locked, preventing their access by the driver. However, passengers will be able to indicate that they are not the person driving, and thus disable the locked feature. Any user will be able to see Apple Maps, but will be blocked from inputting destinations unless they are the passenger.

Smartphones Get Smart about Texting

The new feature in iOS 11 (the phone’s operating system) is called “Do Not Disturb While Driving.” iPhones already have a “Do Not Disturb” feature that prevents messages and calls from getting through while you’re asleep or in a meeting, but this new item takes the “do not disturb” feature to an automated level.

With “Do Not Disturb While Driving,” your iPhone will be able to detect that you are driving and send automated replies to a texter, informing them you are driving, all without your having to do a thing. But you will have to perform a small amount of setup in order to activate the feature.

How Do I Set Up the Feature?

We caution you that the exact steps you need to execute may vary for your phone and for each new iteration of iOS 11. These general instructions are based on the beta version of iOS 11, so they may not match what you need to perform.

Your first steps are:

  • Add Do Not Disturb While Driving to Control Center, via Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls.
  • Select the green plus (+) sign next to Do Not Disturb While Driving.
  • Toggle the feature on or off by swiping to access Control Center. (You should see a car icon.)

Once this aspect is set up, you will have to decide when to activate Do Not Disturb While Driving. First, go to Settings > Do Not Disturb. Then, select from one of three options:

  • Automatically: The phone itself detects that you are driving. However, if you’re a passenger, you’ll have to disable the feature manually to allow messages to come through.
  • While Connected to Car Bluetooth: If your car’s sound system has Bluetooth, then Do Not Disturb While Driving will not activate unless the iPhone is tethered to your car.
  • Manually: You can toggle Do Not Disturb While Driving on and off as needed. The setting will not activate automatically.

There is also an Auto Reply setting that you may want to check and change. You may wish to use a customized outgoing message rather than the generic one provided. Recipients of the automated message can override system blocking by indicating that their text is “urgent.”

Parents Get Peace of Mind

Finally, if you are the parent of a teenager, the new feature will provide you with some additional peace of mind. You can prevent the Do Not Disturb While Driving setting from being changed  by accessing General > Restrictions > Do Not Disturb While Driving. In this way, you can ensure that your child is driving safely.

All of these changes should be available on your iPhone soon, if they are not already.

When others breach their duty, we keep ours.

If you are researching the legal rights and resources available in the aftermath of a distracted driving crash, we hope you’ll consider calling Indiana attorney Mike Stephenson to talk about what happened. You can be assured that our lawyers, and our financial resources, are willing to go the distance on your behalf. Like other personal injury claims in Indiana, a distracted driving injury claim must be filed within two years of the date of injury, so don’t delay. We offer free consultations, and there is no fee for any of our work if we don’t win your case. Contact Mike today by calling 1-317-825-5200, or use our confidential online contact form. McNeely Stephenson: successfully litigating personal injury cases in Indiana since 1982.