News from Brake
6 June 2017
Apple has announced that its iOS 11 software update is to include a new "Do Not Disturb While Driving" mode for iPhones. The new feature will detect when someone is driving and turn off all notifications, as well as setting an automatic text response to notify friends and family when the driver is behind the wheel.
Jason Wakeford, spokesman for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "This new feature is to be welcomed and will help drivers stay focused on the road and not their phones. Mobile use behind the wheel is a growing menace and so Brake would like to see similar initiatives from other phone manufacturers to help cut distractions in the car.
"Advances in technology must also be accompanied by rigorous enforcement and tougher penalties for those who flout the law. Traffic policing should be made a national priority, to ensure that drivers have the expectation that if they use a mobile phone behind the wheel, they will be caught and punished."
Driving is a highly unpredictable and risky activity and requires full concentration at all times. Drivers who divide their attention between their phone and the road are significantly increasing their risk of causing a devastating crash. A study of in-vehicle video footage estimated that one in five (22%) of road crashes could be caused, at least in part, by driver distraction. It also showed that drivers who perform a secondary task at the wheel are two to three times more likely to crash.[i]
Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.
[i] The impact of driver inattention on near-crash/crash risk, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2006