New iOS feature could lead to safer driving

September 29, 2017 02:16 PM

(NBC News) There's a feature in the latest iPhone update you might not know about, and it could help you or your teen be a safer driver.

A new iOS 11 feature might make multi-tasking a little less tempting.

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It's called "do not disturb while driving" and can be installed on iPhone 5 or higher.

"What it does is silent notifications so they don't distract you and in this case they won't even show up on the screen," said Lindsey Turrentine of CNET.

"But how does it know when you're behind the wheel? The feature will automatically turn on when your phone connects with your car's Bluetooth system or if you don't have that your phone's accelerometer, that same thing that counts your steps, can also tell when your car is in motion."

"I know people who have had this triggered when they're on their bikes," Turrentine said.

Or a train or just a passenger in a car.

But in those cases, you can manually turn off the feature.

"Parents can actually turn this on for teenage drivers and password protect it so teenage drivers can't turn it off," said Turrentine.

You can also enable automatic messages to select contacts while driving.

But this new safety feature only eliminates some potential distractions.

Ignoring the others is still up to us ... At least until self-driving cars take over.

"Do not disturb while driving" is not a default setting.

You have to turn the feature on to use it.

In 2015 alone almost 400,000 people were injured and 3,500 were killed in vehicular accidents caused by distracted driving according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.


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