At last week’s World Developers Conference in San Jose, California, Apple announced a new function in its IOS 11 operating system that could curb distracted driving. After all, distracted driving (particularly texting while behind the wheel) is still a problem in the United States. The NHTSA reports that 3,500 people were killed in accidents involving distracted driving. Further, 391,000 were injured in such accidents.
According to a Popular Science report, the “do not disturb” function will keep an IPhone’s screen dark instead of showing notifications that could distract a driver. Essentially, the screen at “wake up” will remind users that notifications will not be displayed while the car is in motion, and people who text or send other messages will receive an auto reply message indicating that the driver is currently driving.
Indeed, users may be allowed to send “urgent” messages, but the overall idea is to limit distractions that could lead to tragic accidents.
While some automakers offer Apple’s CarPlay, which enables a seamless transition between car and phone functions (including a mute button for distractions), the new operating system is emblematic of the responsibility that drivers have any time they get behind the wheel.
Basically, they have a duty to operate a motor vehicle as a reasonable person would, which means that they have a responsibility to mind speed limits, avoid driving under the influence of mood altering substances, and most importantly, limiting distractions. If they fail to do these things, and an accident occurs because of them, they could be held liable for the ensuing injuries and property damage.