iOS Update: Will “Do Not Disturb” Help Drivers?
In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed 13% of all traffic fatalities to distracted driving. The percentage may actually be much higher, since drivers are not likely to admit they were not focused on the road.
First Off, What’s Distracted Driving?
The three most common classifications of distraction are:
- Visual: Something that causes you to take your eyes off the road
- Manual: Using your hands to do something that takes them off the wheel
- Cognitive: When your mind is not focused on driving
Examples include using mobile devices, music players, the radio, eating, and more.
Apple’s Do Not Disturb
Apple’s latest update – iOS 11 – has a new function called Do Not Disturb While Driving. Drivers can turn on the feature to have notifications temporarily paused and keep their screen off. Those who attempt to call or text you automatically receive a note stating that you are driving and will be in touch afterwards.
This “Do Not Disturb” will not stop all distracted driving; however, it is a positive step and shows that tech companies are aware of the dangers their products cause.
What Are State Governments Doing About It?
Many Americans are literally using their mobile devices constantly. Distracted driving has been labeled an “epidemic” by many, including the CEO of State Auto Financial Corporation and columnists in the Washington Times. States have been taking action, with 14 of them banning the use of such devices completely when driving. Over 40 states now have some form of restriction on text messaging as well. Some states have even integrated mobile device restrictions into their systems of graduated driver’s licenses. Cities and local municipalities across the country now have their own ordinances in place.
Oklahoma’s Say in Distracted Driving
Oklahoma enacted legislation that bans all operators of vehicles from texting. The state’s provisions on driver device usage are much more restrictive than neighboring Texas. (For example, drivers in Texas may text while paused at a traffic light.) Oklahoma’s Highway Safety Office says 53 citations were issued on average each month in 2016. Buddy Faulkner of the Durant Police Department says public awareness of the problem is growing and heightened enforcement continues. A citation for texting while driving is a $100 fine.
Whatever you do, don’t text and drive. If you’ve been the victim of a distracted driving accident, contact Car Accident Help to find out more about your legal options. Call (405) 285-4357 for a free consultation.
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