You should all be aware of the legislation that came out in March this year regarding being caught on your phone behind the wheel. If not, here’s a reminder. Anyone who is caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel of a vehicle will receive a minimum of six points on their licence and a £200 fine, double the previous penalties. As well as that, drivers caught will not be given the opportunity to complete a National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme as an alternative to receiving points on their licence. If you want to know more, click here.
However, despite all the media coverage it seems that not everyone is abiding by the law, with almost a third of all Britons admitting to using their phone whilst driving.* So, Apple to the rescue! Yes, you heard correctly. We all know that Apple technology is like marmite, you either love it, or hate it and I’m sure you’re aware of the highly anticipated launch of the new iPhone 8, 8 plus and limited edition X. As part of their new IOS 11 technology, they have a Do Not Disturb Whilst Driving safety mode.
Tell me more I hear you cry, or some of you may be saying, that’s not new news! If you have an Android phone, this is a feature you may already be familiar with. On the iPhone this feature basically means that when you are driving and the setting is enabled, you cannot use your phone, it simply says your phone is disabled and you cannot interact with it. As with all new technology some users have been complaining that there phone has been disabling even when they are not driving.
With this in mind, here’s everything you need to know about the new Do Not Disturb Whilst Driving mode, including how to turn it off!
How does my phone know I’m driving?
For those of you that have your phone hooked up to a Bluetooth system, your phone will know you are at least in the car if not driving when your device syncs. If you don’t have Bluetooth your phone uses a number of signals, such as acceleration and dipping in and out of Wi-Fi networks to detect that you are driving.
How do I know whether the Do Not Disturb functionality is switched on?
This setting is only available on IOS 11 and it is turned on by default and is activated automatically. There have been some mixed reports initially on the reliability of the function, however the majority of people have said the iPhone picked up correctly when they were driving.
Do Not Disturb can also be activated from your phones control centre. You can access this via settings, control centre, customise controls, then Do Not Disturb Whilst Driving. Once you’ve activated it in your settings, you can turn it on by swiping up from the bottom of your screen and selecting it.
What does my phone do when the setting is activated?
When the feature is selected and you start driving, you cannot use your phone to answer calls, respond to texts, check social media, or even look at your playlist. If you do get a message, your screen will just be dark and you won’t be able to see anything.
Some people will find this alarming as how can people contact you if there’s an emergency? Don’t worry, you can set a custom message to let people know you are driving, so they won’t think you are ignoring them! iPhone also gives people the opportunity to use the trigger word ‘urgent’ to contact you even if you are in Do Not Disturb Whilst Driving mode.
Whilst you are not able to receive calls when this mode is activated, you can chose to take calls from certain contacts and receive an alert if the same number tries to call you again within three minutes. If you are hooked into an in-car Bluetooth system, you can still receive calls via your hands free system.
How can I turn the setting off?
The feature will automatically turn itself on when you start driving. To stop this from happening and the app potentially turning on when you don’t need it, you can manually change the settings. You do this by going into your settings and then Do Not Disturb. Here you can control whether or not the setting is activated manually, or when connected to Bluetooth.
Well there you have it, that’s pretty much the new function in a nutshell!
This new feature is designed to make people concentrate on the roads more and less on their smartphones and if it works as a deterrent, then great! If people use this feature then there is the potential to reduce accidents that are caused as a result of people using smartphones.
Sadly, it seems to be more of a generational habit, using a mobile phone whilst driving and hopefully features like Do Not Disturb Whilst Driving will encourage people to concentrate on the roads, not their phones.
In Australia academy award winning film maker Eva Order has directed a short 22 minute documentary showcasing how much young people use their phones whilst driving. Five young drivers had cameras placed in their car and were filmed over a 10 day period. These cameras caught every text, snapchat or phone call taken whilst driving and the results are quite shocking. Click here to view a clip from the film.
The morale of the story has always been the same, don’t use your mobile whilst driving. Whether or not this new iPhone feature deters those individuals that still use their mobile whilst driving, is yet to be known, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.