I recently updated my iPhone to iOS 11.0.3. As part of the update my phone now was programmed to block certain functions while driving. Blocked activity includes all notifications, texts, posts and tweets. In addition, the screen remains dark while driving.1
Although this is an interesting feature I can’t help but wonder if it is sufficient. The feature can be easily disabled; thus, leaving the driver open to continue with their bad habits. There is no doubt that some drivers will leave it on, but those are not the drivers that need it. My worry is that many drives who regularly use their phones while driving will simply disable the feature and continue to use their phone while driving.
The reality of distracted driving for many individuals and families is devastating. United States statistics show that there are eight deaths and over 1000 injuries per day caused by distracted driving.1 Accidental death is the leading cause of death for those aged 1 – 44.2 One out of four accidents are caused by distracted driving.3
Should there be an option of disabling this safety feature while driving? In my view certainly not. The risk is too high. Apple has the ability to turn off their iPhones while in a vehicle. Presumably other cell phone manufactures do as well. There should be no option to override that safety feature.
As a point of interest, there are some excellent apps available that go far beyond Apple’s recent update. These apps are used by parents who have teenagers driving for the first time and by employers who have fleets of vehicles with many different drivers. Check out those apps here and here.
- NPR – Apple Takes on Distracted Driving With New Feature
- Medical News Today – the Top 10 Leading Causes of Death in the United States
- Edgar Synder & Associates – Texting and Driving Accident Statistics