There are many people that attempt to use their smartphones when driving. These people send text messages, make phone calls, and even browse social media while driving. Distracted driving has resulted in thousands of car accidents resulting in both serious injury and death. Apple announced that it is taking steps against distracted driving, but whether or not the software will produce results is debatable.
Apple’s new iOS 11 includes a feature called “Do Not Disturb While Driving,” or DNDWD, that is designed to prevent people from getting distracted by their phones when they are behind the wheel. When DNDWD is activated, it will sense how quickly you are moving by using Bluetooth or WiFi Doppler, and if your phone senses that you are driving, it will block notifications from showing on your lock screen and will keep your phone screen blank.
The software will also let other people know that you are driving if they attempt to contact you. Your phone will send a programmed auto-reply message to anyone who texts you and let them know that you can’t respond immediately because DNDWD is up and running. They will have the option of sending you an “urgent” message if something vital is happening, but otherwise, they will have to wait for you to arrive at your destination.
However, Apple’s car related technology has some disadvantages which has raised concerns for many people. The technology is only available to those who accept it, so if someone isn’t willing to opt into it, they can simply refuse to use it. The software can also be easily overridden, and if someone wants to use their phone while driving, they can easily turn it off. In reality, DNDWD probably doesn’t provide the amount of protection as it seems, but heavily depends on the driver’s willingness to use it and respect it. This type of technology will likely not stop distracted drivers, because it essentially can’t unless the person is willing. It is ultimately the user’s personal choice which is important but will likely not make a genuine difference.
Other phone manufactures, as of now, do not seem to be developing similar technology. Apple has patented this concept which will prevent other companies from releasing similar programs. However, Google, Android, and Apple are all doing their best to gain a place on car screens, which ultimately contributes to distracted driving as a result of people focusing more on the screen in their car and less on the road in front of them.
It is also debatable whether or not phone manufacturers should be taking these types of steps. Is it up to them to make the road a safer place? A loaded question but one to be consider.
At 4N6XPRT Systems, we’ve spent more than 20 years developing powerful accident reconstruction tools like 4N6XPRT StifCalcs to help insurance companies and law enforcement agencies establish fault in car accidents. Give us a call at (619) 464-3478 to learn more about StifCalcs, or any of the other software tools we offer today.