Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature seems to be encouraging some drivers to put down the phone behind the wheel. According to the creators of EverDrive, (an iOS and Android app that monitors users driving habits) 80 percent of EverDrive users utilized the feature, decreasing their overall cell phone use while driving by eight percent.
Even with these results, experts believe more needs to be done to curb distracted driving. Cell phone use is still one of the leading causes of unsafe driving, second only to speeding. Researchers analyzed 781 miles spent driving across the country. They found that, on average, six percent of trip time was spent on the phone. During the average trip lasting around 29 minutes, drivers spent roughly three minutes on the phone.
The risks of distracted driving are well-documented. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) equates taking your eyes off the road for just five seconds with driving the entire length of a football field blindfolded.
Cell phones are not the only distraction. Eating, changing the radio station, personal grooming, and turning to talk to passengers all prevent the driver from paying attention to the road ahead.
In 2016, distraction-related motor vehicle accidents claimed 3,450 lives. Nearly one out of every ten crashes was distraction-related. Drivers aged 15 – 29 are most likely to use their phones while driving.
There is good news in these numbers however. Distracted-driving deaths are down 2.2 percent from the year before – in part due to technology-based tools like Apple’s Do Not Disturb feature and other similar apps.
Apple’s Do Not Disturb app can be engaged as soon as the driver connects their phone to the car or Bluetooth. The app works by silencing the phone and displaying a dark screen while the car is in operation. When the driver receives a text, the app automatically replies, notifying the sender that the user is driving. Do Not Disturb does allow phone calls to be taken hands-free when connected to Bluetooth.
Beyond Do Not Disturb, many other safe driving apps are available for drivers. Apps like LifeSaver and Mojo track driving behavior and reward good habits with gift cards and other incentives. Many safe driving apps shut down activity when the car is in operation. Some even allow loved ones to track drivers along their route – a feature that may be especially appealing to parents of new drivers.
Technology can be an invaluable tool in preventing distracted driving accidents across the country. But to work, drivers must utilize the apps. Drivers who continue to text while driving put other drivers and pedestrians at risk of severe injuries and even death.
If you or a loved was injured in a crash and you suspect the driver was on the phone, contact the Pittsburgh car accident lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. as soon as possible. Our personal injury lawyers work tirelessly to uncover all evidence related to your accident, so you can prove your case and secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
To schedule your free no-obligation consultation, call us today at 412-765-1888 or contact us online. From our offices in Pittsburgh, we serve clients in Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County, Pennsylvania.