Apple’s new iPhone feature to stop drivers being distracted by their mobiles has been welcomed by motoring groups.

The function silences notifications and turns off the iPhone screen when it detects a user is driving.

Apple said increasing driver focus is the aim of the development, which will be included in the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 11

“We’re pleased that at last millions of drivers that use an Apple iPhone are about to be able to put an end to intrusive notifications while they’re behind the wheel.”

Taking Another Step Towards Driver Safety

AA president Edmund King said: “Our research shows that we need to do more to stop drivers using their phones at the wheel, and technology can help.

“More than half of young drivers can’t bring themselves to turn off their mobile phones before driving.

“Whilst the responsibility for not using a hand-held phone at the wheel lies firmly with the driver, we welcome developments such as Do Not Disturb While Driving, which could remove the temptation to answer the phone for some drivers.”

Providing Automatic Responses

Someone who texts a phone with Apple’s new function enabled will receive an automatic reply saying the person is on the road and unavailable.

Motoring groups have led calls for illegal phone use to be tackled after a string of high-profile cases and research indicating the problem is widespread.

Pete Williams, spokesman for the RAC’s BePhoneSmart campaign, said: “These days it is less phone calls and more the pings and buzzes of texts and social media apps that have the potential to distract a driver from the task at hand.

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