CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 7, 2017) – Apple recently announced that iOS 11, a new version of their operating software, will include a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature. AAA Carolinas applauds this new technology that aims to prevent distracted driving—a preventable epidemic that leads to around 5,000 deaths every year.
“AAA Carolinas is dedicated to eradicating distracted driving, and applauds Apple for addressing this important issue,” said AAA President and CEO Dave Parsons.
The “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature will work whenever the phone is connected to a car using Bluetooth or a cable, or if the car is moving. The phone will withhold text messages or news updates, and can also send an automatic response that informing them you are driving. Other features include locking the screen and the inability to input destinations on Apple Maps, while driving.
Cell phones are among the most well-known and common sources of distraction for drivers. Text messaging behind the wheel is one of the riskiest behaviors a driver can do as it involves manual, visual, and mental distraction simultaneously.
In 2016, 22.2% of all teen crashes in North Carolina were the result of distracted driving. 54,279 crashes last year in North Carolina were caused due to distracted driving, resulting in 177 fatalities.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently completed groundbreaking research finding that mental distraction by itself dangerously affects drivers behind the wheel. The research showed that hands-free features, increasingly common in new vehicles, are actually among the most mentally distracting. Just because a drivers’ eyes are on the road and hands are on the wheel does not mean that they are safely focusing on driving.
For more on distracted driving, click here.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.