Apple will be revealing a new piece of iPhone technology through their latest iOS update this coming fall that could significantly reduce the amount of distracted driving across the United States if used by motorists. iOS 6, which is scheduled to be released later this year, will replace iOS 5 and will include many significant enhancements and upgrades, none more important than the new “Do Not Disturb” feature that will allow individuals to tell their iPhone not to bother them when performing other activities. “Do Not Disturb” will allow the user to suppress all incoming calls, texts, and notifications either manually or on a recurring schedule; for example while driving, during a work presentation, or even after a certain time on weeknights. The new feature will also allow you to instantly reply with an automatic text message or set a callback reminder when declining an incoming call.
Whether or not Apple intended to create this feature to assist motorists, it is great news for new and experienced drivers alike, and hopefully this new technology will work without any iPhone operating system glitches. The real challenge comes in the form of the user’s willingness to use the feature before they get behind the wheel of their vehicle. Some people may be more willing to take advantage of the safety measures than others, however it is especially important that teen drivers be aware of the benefits. According to distraction.gov, “Our youngest and most inexperienced drivers are the most at risk, with 16% of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers under age 20.” With statistics like this, something must be done about the rampant use of mobile devices while driving.
Something that most teens today don’t realize is that there was a time before cell phones. There was a time when people were not so readily accessible and that life actually went on when access to 3G and 4G service was unavailable. So many people are glued to their technology, and for some, it’s hard to imagine life without their digital companions. Unfortunately, for several young people life is cut short as a result of using these digital assistants in the wrong ways.
With more and more emphasis being placed on eliminating distracted driving in the U.S., it’s great to see that cell phone manufacturers like Apple, whether intentionally or not, are taking strides to make our roads safer. Hopefully ALL cell phone providers become sensitive to the problem and make the same improvements to their devices. Life is too precious to be ignored.
Be informed. Be aware. Be prepared.