Forget Airplane Mode. Smartphones May Soon Have ‘Driver Mode’

Apps, social media, and texting would all be blocked.

11. 28. 16 by Jelor Gallego
Image by Pexels

One of the traditional banes of road safety advocates has always been drivers using their phones behind the wheel. This used to be limited to texting and calling, but now, drivers have social media, games, the internet, and more that can distract them from the road.

That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking a smartphone ‘driver mode‘ that will block apps while driving. The initiative comes in the form of voluntary guidelines that were issued Wednesday.

The guidelines ask manufacturers to offer a driver mode with a simplified interface. Game apps are disabled, video and graphics are blocked, texting via keypad is prohibited, and internet and social media use would also be blocked.

Real lives are being claimed by distracted driving every day. Back in 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured due to distracted drivers. And with the percentage of American smartphone users already at 68% and climbing, this problem is only going to get worse.


Luckily, the future is coming to the rescue. Already, smartphone-car integration, like that offered by Apple’s CarPlay, is on the rise, meaning the phone can be controlled via car buttons. Ultimately, this problem could even be resolved once self-driving cars hit the streets.

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