Driving With Your iPhone Is About To Get A Lot Safer

Apple is rolling out iOS 11 Tues., Sept. 12, and it has some new features that are going to be total game-changers for users. For example, what is "Do Not Disturb While Driving" mode on iOS 11? This sounds kind of self explanatory — like it won't let you get messages while driving, kind of like how Waze asks if you're the passenger when you try to enter an address while your car is in motion. According to Apple, "Do Not Disturb While Driving" eliminates all distractions while driving by automatically blocking notifications, and will be available in the iOS 11 update that's rolling out on Sept. 19.

Depending on your iPhone settings, there's conflicting information about how this will work. In an email to Bustle, tech expert Bree Bengle from tech solution provider Asurion, which has been busy beta testing iOS 11, said the feature will prevent people from being tempted to answer any texts or calls that come in while they're driving, simply because they won't get the notifications. "When DNDWD activates, you will be prompted with the message: 'You will not receive Notifications while you are driving.' Once activated, if you attempt to perform any action on your phone, you’ll be prompted to select either: 'I’m Not Driving' to bypass the setting, or select 'Cancel' to continue with the do not disturb function," Bengle explained.

How To Use "Do Not Disturb While Driving"

The Mac Observer published step-by-step directions for iPhone users. "Once iOS 11 is installed on your iPhone there’s a good chance you’ll get a dialog asking if you want to turn on DND when you’re driving. The dialog will pop up after you take off in your car," Jeff Gamet reported for Mac Observer. "Just tap 'Turn On While Driving,' and you’re set. Your iPhone will automatically go into DND mode when you’re in a moving car and mute all incoming calls. You also won’t see other alerts and notifications when your car is in motion."

If you want to change your settings, Gamet advised that you should go into your iPhone settings, select "Do Not Disturb," the choose "Do Not Disturb While Driving." Just like Bengle explained, Gamet detailed that once you're in this setting you can choose to enable DNDWD automatically, when connected to bluetooth, or manually.

It's no secret that even though texting and driving is illegal in many states, lots of people are still busy checking their phones at traffic lights, especially in congested cities where you spend more time stopped in traffic than moving through it. So, the DNDWD feature could actually save lives since people will be focusing on the road instead of their phones. Perhaps this feature will even improve the flow of traffic? I can dream, right?

"Apple introduced the feature in an effort to cut down on motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving," David Lynch reported for Payette Forward. What's more, your iPhone can actually send an automatic response that you're driving if you're worried about people thinking you're ghosting them.

How To Customize "Do Not Disturb While Driving"

"Your iPhone sends an 'Auto-Reply' to your contacts who send you a text message while 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' is turned on," Lynch explained. However, your contacts can text the word 'Urgent' in a second message to bypass 'Do Not Disturb While Driving,' in which case you’ll receive the first message immediately."

If you don't want to send an automatic message to everyone who texts you, because let's face it, not everyone needs to know your business, you can customize that too.

"You can choose who receives your 'Do Not Disturb While Driving Auto-Reply' by going to Settings -> Do Not Disturb -> Auto-Reply To," Lynch noted. "Then, you can choose whether you want 'No One,' 'Recents,' 'Favorites,' or 'All Contacts' to receive your 'Do Not Disturb Auto-Reply.' You’ll see a little check mark appear next to the option you select." As for the auto reply, it'll look a little something like this: "“I’m driving with Do Not Disturb turned on. I’ll see your message when I get where I’m going. If this is urgent, reply ‘urgent’ to send a notification through with your original message.”

All and all this sounds like a pretty rad feature, because driving is enough of a dumpster fire without people looking at their phones instead of the road.