TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — In honor of National Do Not Disturb While Driving Day AAA Oklahoma, the National Distracted Driving Coalition and Oklahoma Challenge are urging drivers to turn on a cell phone setting that can help reduce dangerous driving habits.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office's 2021 crash report, there were 1,270 injury crashes that involved distracted drivers. About 30% of those drivers were between the ages of 16 and 24.
On iPhone and Android devices, there is a "Do Not Disturb While Driving" option that can turned on, so when the phone's sensors determine the owner is driving, the feature will automatically engage.
“Now, technology can be part of the solution not just part of the problem,” said Bruce Landsberg, Vice Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. “There’s no reason not to set ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ function to temporarily limit notifications and remove the temptation of checking that distracting device. It’s an easy, one-time switch that can save countless tragedies.”
Instead of the driver receiving a notification, it will be blocked and the person trying to get in contact with the owner will receive a text letting them know the owner is currently driving.
“Every phone now has this feature. It’s easy to use, and it’s amazingly effective because we’re really bad at resisting the urge to check our devices when we hear a notification,” says Joel Feldman, founder of the Casey Feldman Foundation and EndDD.org. “Maybe you’ve checked an incoming text or email a hundred times without anything happening. But it just takes one glance to end a life.”