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Can an App Really Help Cut Down on Distracted Driving?

Can an App Really Help Cut Down on Distracted Driving?

On an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, curmudgeon Larry David has an “incident” on a city bus: Taking public transportation, he successfully navigates a transfer for the first time. He then refuses to be seated and, as he tells the driver to go faster and ignore yellow lights, the bus clips a parked car and the driver has to pull over. “The whole reason I hit this car is because you was up here—yack, yack, yack—talking in my ear!” she yells at Larry. His fellow passengers throw Larry to the curb.

As entertaining as Mr. David is to some folks, distracted driving is no joke. According to a study that looked at data from 781 million driving miles, 36 percent of trips involved significant phone use. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 58 percent of teen crashes are from distracted driving—and texting while driving makes it 23 times more likely you’ll crash, whatever your age.

So if you need help curbing your enthusiasm for texting and yacking while you drive, consider this: Enabling iPhone’s “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature cuts cell phone use by eight percent by turning off notifications when you’re in a moving vehicle. You may get annoyed because the app shuts your notifications off while you’re in a taxi or taxiing on the runway after your plane has landed (if it works like Dr. Mike’s does), but we feel those annoyances are worth the benefits. Android users can download the DriveMode App for AT&T or LifeSaver.

Medically reviewed in March 2020.

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