Apple Software May Reduce Distracted Driving

distracted drivingCompanies like Apple, Samsung, and Google are at the forefront of the latest and greatest technology, constantly pushing to reach new frontiers in tech. These very same companies are also starting to realize that, although smartphones and other portable devices simplify and organize someone’s life, they are causing destruction on our roads and highways.

Because distracted driving is on the rise all across the country, Apple has sought out and published a patent on April 22, 2014 for a new lockout mechanism to prevent smartphone users from texting on their devices while behind the wheel. Although there are apps for Android users that do the same thing, this is the first time Apple has indicated they would alter their software to prevent distracted driving.

If you’ve ever wondered how big of a problem distracted driving is becoming, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has your answers. They’ve been analyzing data from thousands of crashes over the past 10 years, and they’ve found time and again that the increased use of portable devices like smartphones has led to an increase in crashes and fatalities. That’s because drivers who are using devices like smartphones are not fully engaged with driving, and driving is a task that requires coordination and concentration to ensure appropriate reaction times to anything the driver may encounter.

Both the NTSB and companies like Apple and Google are starting to realize that devices that don’t support the actual task of driving have no place in the interior of a vehicle. The NTSB supports apps and software that disable the device while driving, and would like to see enforcement of no-texting at a national level. When distracted driving begins to be regulated on the same level across the United States, we may finally begin to see a decrease in traffic crashes and distracted driving fatalities.