Apple made several big announcements on Monday, and one of them is an attempt to make the roads a safer place.

This fall, the iOS 11 will be available for your iPhone and it comes with a "Do Not Disturb While Driving" setting. The feature will silence incoming texts and all other notifications while your iPhone is connected to your car via Bluetooth or cable.

Should someone try to contact you while you're driving while this setting is active, they will receive an automatic reply that alerts them that you're in the act of driving. The auto response will read, "I’m driving with Do Not Disturb turned on. I’ll see your message when I get where I’m going." This will be followed by "If this is urgent, reply ‘urgent’ to send a notification through with your original message," in the case of an emergency.

Distracted driving is a serious issue nationwide. Based on the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most recent data collected, which comes from 2015, shows that nearly 3500 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes due to distracted driving, and an additional 391,000 were injured as a result of such car crashes.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation list three types of distracted driving:

  1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  3. Cognitive: taking your mind off what you're doing

Each type is a common occurrence when a driver becomes engaged with their phone while en route. Not only is it highly unsafe, it is also against the law. According to North Dakota law, "composing, reading or sending any electronic message or using a communications device to access the Internet while driving is illegal for drivers of all ages and comes with a fine of $100. The law applies to any driver of a vehicle in a traffic lane, even while stopped at a red light or in a construction zone." Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using an electronic communication device for all purposes, except for emergencies.

It seems that Apple is taking the first step in potential preventive measures for iPhone users upon granting access to the iOS 11 update. Until then, please be safe on the roads everyone, and whatever happens, please don't text and drive.