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The iPhone’s Do Not Disturb While Driving mode may actually be working

Distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drink driving and, these days, with the omnipresence of our smartphones, is probably more common.

Apple understands its role in this epidemic and seeks to affect change with the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature.

Enabled by default in iOS 11, the mode suppresses all notification alerts except for those from whitelisted contacts, while a vehicle is in motion.

And, according to independent research, it might be working.

EverQuote, the maker of the EverDrive app, says 70% of iPhone owners kept the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature enabled after the iOS 11 update last year.

Related: iPhone X review

That resulted in those drivers using the iPhone approximately 8% less often. It’s not a huge shift, but it’s better than nothing.

Overall though, 75% of the people surveyed by EverQuote believe these DND modes made them safer drivers.

A long way to go…

However, EverQuote says this change only scratches the surface. It claims almost half of those aged 18-20 are driving while distracted by a smartphone. 38% of the rest of us use are using our phones while driving.

EverQuote used 781 million miles worth of data from its app to determine that its users spend, on average, 6% of all journey time on their phones.

It seems the company isn’t afraid to point out our bad habits, but the GPS-enabled EverDrive app’s true purpose is gamify safe driving.

The company explains: “EverDrive shows you trip summaries, details on maneuvers, and gives you useful feedback to become a better driver. The safe driving app is easy to use because it automatically detects when driving starts and stops, and uses the phone’s sensors to measure your driving performance.”

Do you think there should be tougher penalties for phone use behind the wheel? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.