It turns out that Apple iPhone users aren't enabling the "Do Not Disturb" mode that silences calls and text messages when the smartphone thinks its owner may be driving.
The IIHS published last week the results of a study of 800 respondents showing only 1 in 5 iPhone users had the function enabled. The mode, introduced for iPhone 6 and newer models in late 2017, silences calls or redirects them to voicemail and auto-responds to text messages while driving. Of the 800, 400 said they owned older iPhones or Android smartphones.
The feature was hailed as an appropriate response to distracted driving, but users must opt into the function. iPhone users were initially prompted with the new feature when they installed iOS 11, but if they did not select the option to enable the mode while driving, the feature was buried in settings to be activated at a later time.
The IIHS found that most respondents didn't activate it later on.
Those who did opt into the feature when it rolled out said that they out it. The study found 3 in 4 respondents said the "Do Not Disturb" mode was not an annoying feature and believed it should be a standard and automatic feature on all cell phones. Respondents who did not choose to enable the "Do Not Disturb" mode while driving mostly said they did so because of the restricted access to their phone. Most said they needed their phone while driving or feared missing important notifications. Many also indicated they weren't aware the feature even existed.
Those who said they enable the feature manually said they'd welcome a new prompt to enable the function automatically when they enter the car and start driving. Those who never used the feature before are open to trying it, too; the study found 27 percent said they would be somewhat or very likely to try Do Not Disturb mode if Apple pushed a new prompt to enable it automatically while driving.