Distracted driving is a national epidemic. Our Safe Driving Report revealed that 92% of the drivers in the United States use their phones while behind the wheel. The average drive time of EverDrive users is 21 minutes, with 88 seconds of that time spent on the phone.

All it takes is a few seconds of distraction. Taking just five seconds to send or read a text at 55 miles per hour is like driving an entire length of a football field while blindfolded, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Apple introduced its "Do Not Disturb" While Driving (DND) phone feature on Sept. 17, 2017. This feature is enabled by default and can sense when you're driving. Generally, the DND feature prevents incoming phone calls, texts and notifications from appearing on your screen while you're driving.

With more than 500,000 EverDrive users, we wanted to better understand Apple's DND feature and its impact on phone use while driving. From the period between Sept. 19, 2017 and Oct. 25, 2017, approximately 80% of EverDrive users with iPhones adopted the DND feature.

 

DND feature has made people safer drivers

 

Findings

The results showed that 70% of EverDrive iPhone users kept their DND feature enabled; one in four (27%) iPhone users disabled the feature. Of those users enabling the feature, phone use while driving decreased by 8%.

This improvement is a good sign that technology and mobile software can help combat phone use and texting while driving. Coupled with anti-texting and distracted driving laws, this software becomes even more powerful. Our Safe Driving Report shows that drivers in the states with the strictest distracted driving laws, such as New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont, used their phones the least. Drivers in states with no restrictions used their phones the most.

Approximately 1,000 accidents and nine deaths per day are caused by a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With a sensible use of technology and legislation, we have an opportunity to do away with unnecessary injuries and deaths.

Survey results

In addition to studying the impact of Apple's DND While Driving feature, we surveyed 939 EverDrive users with Apple and Android operating systems to get a better understanding of drivers' thoughts and preferences towards DND software. Here's what we found:

Many drivers don't know their mobile device can help lessen mobile distractions while they drive.

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

Users believe they're safer drivers when using a DND feature.

  • Among drivers who use the DND feature, 75% believe it has made them safer drivers. Only 15% don't believe it made them safer drivers while 10% were unsure.

Drivers say other driving technology, such as GPS, autonomous assistance and driving applications, can help them drive safer.

  • 45% of drivers believe that a GPS system with traffic predicting and time-shortening capabilities would make them a safer driver.
  • 33% of drivers believe that semi-autonomous driving technology, like automated park assist, self-driving autopilot, lane-departure sensors and more would make them safer drivers.
  • 31% of drivers believe that a driving application that monitored and reported their speeding, phone use and driving behavior would help 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 feature to users, one in three drivers (32%) say they would download a similar driving application that disables their phones while driving.

QUESTION 1: Do you use your phone's "do not disturb while driving" feature?

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
Yes, I use the do not disturb while driving feature. 30.11%
No, I disabled my phone's do not disturb while driving feature. 22.26%
I didn't know my phone had a do not disturb while driving feature. 41.18%
My phone does not have a do not disturb feature. 6.45%
  • Many EverDrive drivers (41%) using Android and iPhone devices didn't know their phone had a do not disturb while driving feature.
  • 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.

QUESTION 2: Do you think your phone's "do not disturb while driving" feature has made you a safer driver?

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
Yes, I think the do not disturb while driving feature has made me a safer driver. 25.71%
No, I don't think the do not disturb while driving feature has made me a safer driver. 10.20%
I don't use the do not disturb while driving feature. 44.08%
I don't know. 20.00%
  • About one in four drivers (26%) believe the DND feature has made them a safer driver.
  • One in ten drivers (10%) do not believe that the DND feature has made them a safer driver.

Among people who say they use the "do not disturb" feature on their iOS phones:

  • 75% think it's made them a safer driver
  • 15% don't think it has
  • 10% don't know

QUESTION 3: If you had to choose between one of the following options, what would be the most likely reason you would not use Apple's do not disturb while driving feature?

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
I want to be able to receive emails, texts and notifications while I drive. 10.91%
I want to be able to answer my phone in case of an emergency. 33.70%
I don't use my phone while I drive so I don't need the feature. 26.47%
I don't think the feature helps me drive safer. 6.28%
No reason. 10.78%
I don't know. 11.87%
  • One in three drivers (34%) would not use Apple's do not disturb while driving feature because they want to be able to answer their phone in case of an emergency.
  • One in four drivers drivers (26%) say there was no need for the DND feature because they don't use their phone while driving.
  • 11% of drivers admit they would not use the DND feature because they want to be able to receive emails, texts and notifications while they drive.

 

Why people disabled the DND feature

 

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.

QUESTION 4: Which of the following car technologies do you believe would be most likely to make you a safer driver?

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
GPS system that incorporates traffic predicting and time-shortening driving information. 45.01%
An infotainment system that voices social media updates, text messages and other notifications while I drive. 21.56%
Driving application that monitored and reported my speeding, phone use and driving behavior. 31.13%
Semi-autonomous driving technology, like automated park assist, self-driving autopilot, lane censors and more. 32.88%
I don't know. 13.07%
  • 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, lane censors and more would make them a safer driver.
  • 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 a safer driver.

QUESTION 5: If you did not have access to Apple or Android's do not disturb feature, would you have downloaded a similar driving application on your own?

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
Yes, I would have downloaded a similar driving application. 31.85%
No, I would not have downloaded a similar driving application. 46.69%
I don't know. 21.46%
  • If Apple or Android did not offer the DND feature to users, about half of all drivers (47%), would not have download a similar driving application that disables their phone while driving.
  • Conversely, about one in three drivers (32%), would download a similar driving application if Apple or Android did not provide a DND feature for them.

Methodology

  • EverDrive identified users who actively used the app prior to the release of iOSv11 (July 2017) and through the end of our analysis (Oct. 31, 2017).
  • User data showed that during the period between Sept.19, 2017 and Oct. 25, 2017, iOSv11 went from virtually no adoption to approximately 80% adoption among the EverDrive user base.