Apple's new iOS software will include a "Do Not Disturb While Driving" feature, eliminating the urge to check for messages or updates while behind the wheel.
The feature will be part of Apple's iOS 11, slated to come out in the fall, and will withhold any notifications while the phone is connected to a car via Bluetooth or a cable. It will also reply to any incoming messages with an automatic response that says the driver is busy and will reply later (with an option to allow a message if the sender believes it's urgent).
While the iPhone screen will be locked to prevent drivers from using apps, navigation systems like Apple Maps and Google Maps will work, but users will not be able to input destinations while driving.
The new "Do Not Disturb While Driving" feature will go into effect six months after Bethany and James Modisette sued Apple for failing to provide the iPhone safety feature that it patented in 2014. The couple's 5-year-old daughter Moriah was killed after a distracted driver using FaceTime ran into their car. Had it been in operation, the offending driver's phone would have locked the user out of functions like texting and FaceTime while driving.
By enabling the feature now, Apple is taking some responsibility for its technology and the distraction it can be for drivers. Eight people are killed each day in crashes involving distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.