How To Enable Do Not Disturb While Driving In iOS 11

You shouldn’t use your phone when you’re driving. It’s illegal in some countries to text while you drive for obvious reasons. You not only endanger yourself but others if you’re distracted while driving. Even if you habitually put your phone away while driving, it doesn’t automatically stop other people from contacting you. To deal with this, Apple is adding Do Not Disturb While Driving in iOS 11. It’s an extension of the Do Not Disturb feature that was added in a previous iOS version. This feature works with your car’s Bluetooth. If you don’t have Bluetooth in your car, the feature will still work via the accelerometer. Obviously, this isn’t a feature that you can schedule but it does need to be enabled.

Do Not Disturb While Driving

To enable Do Not Disturb While Driving, open the Settings app and tap Do Not Disturb. Scroll down and tap the ‘Activate’ option under the Do Not Disturb While Driving section.

The Activate screen has three options; Automatically, When Connected To Car Bluetooth, and Manually. If you don’t have Bluetooth in your car, tap the Automatically option. If you have Bluetooth in your car, tap the ‘When Connected To Car Bluetooth’. The Automatically option works via motion detection. If your phone detects you’re moving fast enough to be in a car (or bus), it will enable Do Not Disturb While Driving.

What Happens When Do Not Disturb While Driving Is Enabled?

What happens when you Do Not Disturb While Driving is enabled depends on how it’s enabled. If it’s enabled automatically, i.e. via motion detection, all calls and notifications will be blocked. Anyone messaging or calling you will get a message to let them know you’re driving and you’ll get in touch with them when you reach your destination.

If you have the feature enabled via Bluetooth, i.e., your device is connected to your car’s Bluetooth with a hands-free device connected to it, you will be able to receive incoming calls.

Do Not Disturb While Driving For Passengers

The Do Not Disturb While Driving feature mimics a similar feature introduced in Pokèmon Go last year. The feature was meant to discourage players from hatching eggs and catching Pokèmon while they were driving. It too worked via motion detection and it had one obvious flaw; if you were a passenger it still disabled playing for you. The app and iOS 11 both let you explicitly turn Do Not Disturb While Driving off by tapping the alert and telling it you’re the passenger.

Test Drive

We took the feature for a test drive and we have to say, Pokèmon Go does it better. The game is better at detecting when you’re in a moving vehicle. iOS 11 doesn’t catch on unless you cross a certain speed limit.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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