The RAC Foundation, a British motoring charity, has called for 'drive-safe' modes on smartphones which will help drivers avoid getting “distracted or overwhelmed with information”. The foundation says at least 70 fatal accidents on Britain's roads are because of distractions in the vehicle, and that driving while using a mobile phone was the cause of around 20 crashes.
The foundation says that two-thirds of the British population, or 38.5 million people, own smartphones; which means more and more distractions. It compared the drive-safe mode to the flight-safe mode which is present on devices and restricts communication which could potentially interfere with a plane's systems.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
“There may come a day when autonomous cars allow us to spend all our time looking at our mobile, tablet and computer screens. Until then as drivers, we need to make sure we have our eyes on the road.”
Currently, the main preventive measure for phone-related crashes is the law. If a person is caught using a mobile phone while driving they receive 3 penalty points, which stay on their record for four to eleven years, and if a driver gets 12 points in three years then they're disqualified from driving. Additionally, drivers using a phone, get a fine of £100.
In the meantime, the RAC Foundation says drivers can download apps which limit functionality while driving and also that switching on do-not-disturb is also a way to cut down on notifications which can distract from driving.