Can Phone Manufacturers Create a Cell Phone That Prevents Use While Driving?

Published on Apr 23, 2020 at 3:32 pm in Car Accidents.

Person holding phone while driving

Everyone knows that texting and driving is dangerous, but that doesn’t stop negligent drivers from doing it. When a person isn’t fully focused on the road in front of them, the chances of an accident happening skyrocket. While most states have bans on texting and driving, state laws don’t always seem to be a strong enough deterrent.

Wireless companies are well aware of the problem, as many of them have instituted safe driving campaigns to discourage distracted driving. Those companies, however, may be able to do more. Let’s take a look at the possibility of phone manufacturers creating a cell phone that prevents use while driving.

How the Brain Works: Cell Phones and Driving

According to a study from the National Safety Council, driving involves controlling the stability of a vehicle and monitoring the driving environment—both of which are directly related to the driver’s manual operation and visual attention.

When a driver looks at their phone for any reason, they are missing important driving cues. To prioritize and process information, the brain goes through six different stages: select, process, encode, store, retrieve, and execute. First, the brain selects the information it will focus on and it processes that information. A memory is created, and the information is stored. Before a person can act on the information the brain has saved, they have to retrieve the information. Finally, they can react to the situation.

The process above happens in a matter of seconds. That is why a focused driver can react to a dangerous situation and avoid an accident. When the brain’s focus is shifted to a cellphone, however, the driver won’t have time to get through all six steps to avoid a collision.

Cell Phone Technology to Reduce Distracted Driving

According to the New York Times, phone manufacturers have the technology to shut down texting on the road, but most companies do not want to implement technology that takes the decision out of drivers’ hands completely. As a result, most companies have developed apps to give drivers options to avoid distractions.

Cell Phone Blocking Technology

Cell phone blocking technology is available from wireless services and companies that specialize in developing the apps. The most basic technology prohibits calls or texts while a vehicle is in motion. More advanced systems have the ability to block audio features and track speed and sudden stops. Depending on the app, it may be able to automatically send a text or email when someone tries to contact the driver to let them know they are behind the wheel. Let’s take a look at the cell phone clocking technology the most common phone manufacturers currently offer.

  • Apple iOS DND. Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving (DND) mode blocks notifications, incoming calls, and texts when the phone senses driving motion or is connected to the vehicle via Bluetooth. The DND feature can generate a text reply to anyone that tries to contact the driver. With this feature, it’s important to note that phone calls are allowed if the iPhone is connected via Bluetooth.
  • AT&T DriveMode. This free app from AT&T activates when a car reaches 15 mph. It blocks text alerts and sends automatic text replies. For parents of teen drivers, they can program the app to notify them of when it has been turned off.
  • Samsung In-Traffic Reply. In-Traffic Reply is an Android distracted-driving app. It allows users to set automatic replies to incoming calls or text messages. The app senses when the car is in motion using the phone’s GPS.
  • Sprint Drive. This Android app is only for Sprint customers. Once a vehicle has reached 10 mph, the app routes all incoming calls to voicemail and silences email and text alerts. The app features Exit and 911 emergency buttons on the home screen that allows users to override the app.
  • Verizon Driving Mode. Offered through Verizon’s Android messaging app, Driving Mode blocks texts and sends automated replies.

File a Car Accident Claim Today

If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, you have the right to file a claim to seek compensation for your losses. When you work with Belsky & Horowitz, LLC, we’ll conduct a thorough investigation and determine what the driver was doing at the time when they collided with your vehicle. We’ll be able to figure out if they were breaking any state laws, as well.

Filing a claim can seem intimidating, especially while you’re trying to focus on recovering physically and emotionally. Our attorneys will guide you through the process and support you every step of the way. To learn more about your legal rights and options after a crash, schedule a free case evaluation with our law firm today.



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