Apple, Please Fix Do Not Disturb While Driving

Back in late September, I posted about 2 Excellent iOS 11 Features to Enable.  One of those features is Do Not Disturb While Driving.  Well, after using this feature for a few months, I’m sorry to save it is flawed and desperately in need of an update to address a few serious shortcomings.


Waze, pretty much every day, as it is far superior to the built in navigation in my car.  The problem is that by having Waze open, Do Not Disturb will not enable.  Why?  Because the feature requires that your phone be locked.  This just doesn’t make sense.

Android phones have had this type of feature, mainly through 3rd party apps, for years.  Due to Apple‘s strict control over the iOS operating system, which I support, iPhone‘s have not.  This is admittedly Apple’s first attempt to address this need, but it lacks some proper planning and is a flawed implementation.

Many states, like my home state of New Hampshire, have or are enacting hands-free laws, which is a great thing.  The amount of incidents involving distracted drivers using their phones has become an epidemic.  You see it on the road every day.

The premise of this feature is that you can’t use your phone, except as a hands-free device, nor will you get any pop-up notifications that would distract you, while you are driving.  Great concept, flawed implementation.  Here’s my real world experience over the last few months.

With Waze open, Do Not Disturb While Driving will not activate.  I have it set to automatically activate when my iPhone connects to my car’s Bluetooth audio system.  Once I determined this was happening, I placed an icon to manually enable Do Not Disturb While Driving manually from the Control Center.  While this does enable it, it does not work reliably, again, because I have Waze active on my iPhone.  Only some text messages receive the auto-reply that I have configured.  Most do not.  I also get every pop-up notification, which is a distraction.

Here is how it should work.  You should be able to set app exceptions that are allowed to be running and still allow Do Not Disturb While Driving to function properly.  It should not be dependent on the phone being locked.  I should be able to get in my car, open Waze, put my phone on it’s mount, connect it to vehicle power and as soon as it connects to my Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb While Driving should activate.  I should not receive ANY pop-up notifications until I have turned off the car or pressed the home button and clicked the I’m Not Driving pop-up that displays when Do Not Disturb While Driving is active.  Anyone who sends me a text message, should receive my configured auto-reply and the very cool feature, an additional notification informing them if they send the message again with the word urgent, it will come through and notify me.  This is s smart emergency notification option.

I’ve sent this feedback to Apple and am hoping they will fix this in an update soon.  I’ll be monitoring this situation and will update you as I learn more.  In the meantime, stay safe and only use your phone hands-free while driving.  Your fellow drivers, riders and pedestrians thank you.

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