Apple iPhone’s Do Not Disturb Features Make Drivers Safer

Everquote and EverDrive today released data on the impact of Apple’s Do Not Disturb (DND) While Driving feature on the driving behavior of EverQuote’s growing community of 500,000+ EverDrive users.

Results showed 70% of EverDrive iPhone users kept the DND While Driving feature enabled after its release. Between the feature’s release on September 19th and October 25th those users then exhibited an 8% decrease in phone use while driving, as measured by their EverDrive app.

EverDrive reveals the significant majority of drivers (92%) use their phone while behind the wheel. EverDrive data also shows the average drive time of EverDrive users is 21 minutes, with 88 seconds or approximately seven percent of that time spent interacting with their phone. Despite many states implementing anti-texting or distracted driving laws, distracted driving plagues American roadways — injuring and taking the lives of thousands each year according to the National Highway Traffic Administration. We must find sensible ways to use technology and public policy to address this issue.

In addition to reviewing how Apple’s DND While Driving feature impacted EverDrive users’ driving behavior, EverQuote surveyed 939 EverDrive users with Apple and Android phone operating systems to further understand sentiment and preferences toward the DND While Driving feature.

41% of EverDrive drivers using Android and iPhone devices didn’t know their phones had a DND While Driving feature.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Many drivers don’t know their mobile device can help lessen distractions while they drive. 41% of the EverDrive users surveyed, across both Android and iPhone devices, didn’t know their phones had a DND While Driving feature.
  • Drivers who use Apple’s DND feature say it has made them safer. Among drivers who use the DND While Driving feature, 75% say it has made them safer drivers; 15% say it hasn’t; and 10% didn’t know.
  • Drivers say other driving technology, such as safe driving applications, traffic aware GPS, and assistive driving vehicle features can help them drive safer.
    • About one in three drivers (31%) believe that a driving application that monitored and reported their speeding, phone use and driving behavior would help make them safer drivers.
    • Nearly half of drivers (45%) believe that a GPS system with traffic predicting and time-shortening capabilities would make them a safer driver.
    • One in three drivers (33%) believe that semi-autonomous driving technology, like automated park assist, self-driving autopilot, and lane-departure sensors, would make them safer drivers.
  • Consumers want software and/or applications that remove mobile distractions while driving. If Apple or Android did not offer the DND While Driving feature to users, one in three drivers (32%) would download a similar driving application that disables their phones while driving.
  • Nearly one in three (30%) EverDrive drivers use their phone’s do not disturb while driving feature.
  • About one in four (22%) EverDrive users disabled their phone’s do not disturb while driving feature

The challenge of decreasing distracted driving on U.S. roadways becomes much more difficult as smartphone adoption continues to increase each year. To best curb this modern-day epidemic, EverQuote believes an approach that pairs legislation and technology to educate consumers of their behavior behind the wheel together will have the most positive impact and result in change. In fact, EverDrive data shows that states with some of the strictest distracted driving laws – such as Oregon, New Hampshire and Vermont – were ranked in the top 5 states with the lowest rates of phone use while driving.

Among people who have disabled the “do not disturb” feature on their iOS or Android phones:

  • 34% say it’s because they want to make emergency calls while driving
  • 22% say they don’t need it because they don’t use their phones while driving
  • 23% admit they want to receive emails, texts and notifications while they drive
  • 13% said they don’t think the feature would make them better drivers
  • The remaining 9% didn’t know or didn’t have a reason for disabling it.