iPhone user's that updated to the latest iOS 11 probably noticed a new feature they were prompted to learn more about called "Do Not Disturb While Driving" a new feature from Apple designed to help curb distracted driving across the country. This is a positive step for auto insurance policy holders.
It's no secret that distracted driving has been on the rise across the country and a huge component of that is due to cell phones and smart phone use while driving. As drivers have become more distracted there seems to have been an uptick in accidents as well as severity of accidents. It is definitely something we are seeing impact the Vermont auto insurance market on both the company level and consumer (policy holder) end.
With the increase in accident frequency, related to distracted driving, car insurance companies across Vermont have been struggling to keep up with the resulting cost of claims. Increased cost in claims impacts policy holders because these companies than have to raise their rates across the board for everyone to keep up with the cost. (And to think we're only talking about distracted driving rate impact here... Increased vehicle repair, medical, and lawyers costs are also impacting rates)
So how can this new Apple feature help? When you turn on Due Not Disturb While Driving your smart phone will auto detect when you are driving and mute distractions. Phone calls, Texts, and Notifications will all be held off until you have arrived safely where you are going. Don't worry you can set up an auto responder so those people patiently waiting by their phones for your reply will know you are driving. Hands free folks will also still receive calls. Also, they can breakthrough if there is truly something urgent like an emergency. If they use the word "Urgent" or call twice with in a few minutes.
This is a huge step to limiting smart phone distractions while driving. Let's face it, it can be very hard to ignore that buzzing or ringing phone in your pocket on the road. Now there is a super easy way to let our phones do this for us. Hopefully if we all take the step to turn this feature on we can decrease accidents and start slowing insurance rate increases.
Additionally, it's a great way to help you avoid a costly cell phone violation on your driving record. Outside of the ticket cost most insurance companies are treating these as major moving violations which can make a policy holders premium jump and even potentially get them non-renewed from their current policy down the road.
Lets do this... it's a simple great idea that can help us all arrive to our destinations a little safer.
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