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The Do Not Disturb While Driving feature Apple baked into iOS 11 seems to be getting some drivers to put down their phones and concentrate on the road ahead. 

But phone use is still a major cause of unsafe driving, second only to speeding. That's according to the results of a study issued Wednesday by EverQuote, an auto insurance company that produces an iOS and Android app called EverDrive, which passively monitors driving habits.  

As part of its report, EverDrive logged and analyzed 781 million driving miles from Boston to San Francisco and back last year and found that with an average of 6% of trip time spent on the phone, more than 46 million miles were spent on the phone.

Among such trips with phone use, the average drive time was 29 minutes, with drivers spending more than three minutes on the phone. To put this in perspective, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that taking your eyes off the road to read a text for just five seconds at 55 mph is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded.

And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are nine deaths and 1,000 accidents per day related to distracted driving. 

Where does Apple come in? As the name suggests, the Do Not Disturb While Driving safety feature aims to keep you focused on the road while you’re at the wheel. You won’t see potentially distracting notifications on your iPhone's lock screen. Through an automatic reply feature, your phone can send a message to people letting them know when you are driving.  If there’s a true emergency, those folks can reply with “urgent,” and their messages will be permitted to come through. And yes, if you're using the phone as a passenger in a moving vehicle, you have the option to turn the feature off.

According to EverQuote, between Sept. 19, 2017, and Oct. 25, 2017, approximately 80% of EverDrive users with iPhones adopted the Do Not Disturb driving feature. And 75% of those who do use the feature believe it does make them safer drivers. Phone use among drivers with the feature turned on decreased by 8%.

In phone settings, you have the option to have it enabled automatically or you can do it manually or when you come in contact with your car’s Bluetooth.

Overall, EverQuote reported that Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska and Idaho are the states with the "best" driving scores (factoring in speeding, as well as distracted driving). The least-safe driving states: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

Email: ebaig@usatoday.com; Follow USA TODAY Personal Tech Columnist @edbaig on Twitter

Source : https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-now/distracted-driving-feature-inside-iphones-helping-keep-you-safe-at-the-wheel-report/465-2349402d-9318-49ba-a77b-d36a1defb86d

Distracted driving feature inside iPhones helping keep you safe at the wheel: report
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