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iOS 11's 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' Is Keeping Roads Safer: How Does It Work?

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A recent report has found that iOS 11's "Do Not Disturb While Driving" feature has been helpful in reducing driver distraction and keeping roads safer.

Distracted driving claimed nearly 3,500 lives in 2015 in the United States and led to about 400,000 injuries in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving leads to 1,000 motor accidents and nine deaths per day.

Texting while driving has become somewhat of a national epidemic and an alarming one at that. As the NHTSA points out, sending or reading a text while driving at speed of 55 miles per hour for a duration of only 5 seconds is like driving the length of an entire football field with one's eyes closed.

iOS 11's 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' Feature Actually Helps, Says Survey

In order to tackle this problem, Apple released a "Do Not Disturb While Driving" feature with iOS 11. When enabled, the feature automatically detects when a user is behind the wheel and disables notifications for incoming texts or calls in order to prevent drivers from being distracted by their phones.

A recent survey conducted by insurance company EverQuote found that the iOS 11 feature has actually helped reduced driver distraction.

According to the survey, 8 percent of drivers who had the "Do Not Disturb" feature turned on found themselves using their smartphones less while driving or at least not as much as before the feature was released. The study also found that 75 percent of participants claimed that the feature made them a safer driver.

The most cited reason for people not enabling the "Do Not Disturb" mode was that they did not want to miss emergency phone calls. However, the feature allows users to configure the device to allow calls from specific contacts.

How To Turn On The 'Do Not Disturb' Feature?

The first time the smartphone senses that the user might be driving, he or she will receive a pop-up description of the feature once the device realizes that the vehicle isn't stationary.

Once the description appears, users need to select the "Tap Turn On While Driving," and the feature will be enabled automatically when the iPhone is connected to the car's Bluetooth or when the handset detects that the user is driving. Users can also change the method their smartphones use to detect whether they're driving or turn on the feature manually.

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