If your phone is too tempting, try this tool in the car

Do you ever find yourself going against better judgment and checking your phone while driving? Maybe you just heard a text come through or you got a notification from a social media app. Whatever it is, sometimes people give in to the temptation.

If that’s you, there’s a way to cut off that temptation without completely cutting yourself off from the world. iPhone users running updated software can utilize a tool called Do Not Disturb While Driving to prevent notifications from coming through and distracting them while behind the wheel.

Distracted driving endangers drivers, passengers and pedestrians every day on the roads. The rate of Tennessee distracted driving crashes has increased every year since 2013 with more than 24,000 crashes in 2017.

So far in 2018 there have been more than 12,000 distracted driving crashes on Tennessee roadways. Shelby County drivers are the most at-risk with over 7,000 crashes last year, three times more than the next-most dangerous county.

How it works

With the feature enabled, an iPhone can detect a user's movement or a connection to a car’s Bluetooth system. One the device registers the user is driving, Do Not Disturb settings kick in.

According to the Apple settings information, the feature silences text messages when enabled and prevents the screen from lighting up when a message comes through. A default setting sends a response to indicate the user is driving, though users can personalize this message as well.

Calls and other notifications won’t come through until the user is out of the car. Users can personalize their settings to be more or less restricting depending on their preferences.

Not completely cut off

Do Not Disturb While Driving isn’t a complete cut-off from possible communications. If you want to let certain callers through the block, select those specific contacts in the Do Not Disturb settings. Additionally, any contact can reply to the auto-reply with the word “urgent” and get around the system.

If you need features such as GPS or music to play through your device, you can still use them as long as it’s hands-free and doesn’t add distractions. The best solution is to pair your device with the vehicle either through Bluetooth or another connection system.

Do Not Disturb While Driving helps keep drivers focused on the road and not on a phone screen. However, accidents do happen. No feature can completely prevent distracted driving. For those who can, limiting the temptation of a phone can help make everyone a little safer on the roads.

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