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Apple CarPlay and the UK closing the “Candy Crush” Distracted Driving Loophole

There is no universal federal law related to handheld devices and driving in the United States. Twenty-two states outlaw the use of handheld devices altogether (Virginia’s ban goes into effect on January 1, 2021). Several other states only ban handheld devices for new drivers and those under the age of 17. School bus drivers are banned from using handheld devices in 19 states.

Seven more states prohibits local governments from enacting independent laws related to handheld devices. The New Hampshire Supreme Court, in the case of State vs. Belleville (2014) upheld a seven-year conviction for a man who crossed into a center lane while texting, causing an accident and paralysis to a young passenger. Based on the foregoing, it’s best to simply not text and/or talk while driving to avoid potential issues.

Missing a call won’t kill you – an accident quite possibly could

Roads Safety Minister David Jamieson

The United Kingdom, on the other hand, does in fact have nationwide statutes related to driving with handheld devices. Parliament first outlawed distracted driving in 2003. It was after Roads Safety Minister David Jamieson famously said, “Missing a call won’t kill you – an accident quite possibly could.” Penalties for violating the range from fines to revocation of your driver’s license.

The verbiage of the law, however, has caused confusion and clarification by the UK government.

Please, don’t text while driving. Apple CarPlay will do everything you need it to do, including transcribe your voice to text, and the reverse.

The “Candy Crush Loophole”

Ramsey Barreto was driving when he witnessed a car accident in Ruislip on August 19, 2017. He recorded the scene on his phone while driving past slowly. A police officer spotted him filming and issued a citation. The lower courts upheld the decision by police to issue the citation. But an appellate court overturned the ruling.

The law specifically states that driving while using a device that “performs an interactive communication” is illegal. Interactive was interpreted as a two-way communication, whether it be text messaging, voice calls, or emailing. Thus taking pictures, filming video and even playing video games is not illegal pursuant to the language of the law. The appellate court judges criticized lawmakers in their decision for not updating the law in accordance with technological advances.

The law became somewhat of a running joke in the UK because driver were fined for talking and texting, but could drive while playing Candy Crush. That is the origin of the loophole’s name. Regulators closed the loophole this month by changing the language of the law. It now prohibits picking up a mobile device at all while driving. The change goes into effect on January 1, 2021.

Apple CarPlay to the rescue

U.K. drivers can use hands free devices under the new law. U.S. drivers had already been doing this for quite some time. A 2018 survey by market research firm Strategic Analytics found that 34% of U.S. drivers for all media in their cars, including phone calls and texting. Researched posited that CarPlay is so popular because the user interface is simpler than the system installed by auto manufacturers.

Apple CarPlay is popular because it enhances the overall driving experience. But it also saves lives by preventing distracted driving. The BBC reported 637 deaths in British roads were caused by drivers using handheld devices in 2019. Distracting driving was cited in 8.5% of fatal car accidents in the United States in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Listen to your favorite music while driving. Talk to your significant others the whole way home from work. Just do it with the help of Siri and Apple CarPlay.

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CarPlay Navigation CarPlay Texting & Calls

Why Apple CarPlay Saves Lives

You always hear how important it is to never text and drive, but how many people actually listen to that advice? According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States. It is estimated that more than 35,000 people lose their lives to motor vehicle accidents. A major reason for many of those accidents is distracted cellphone usage. This is especially the case for drivers who text and browse the web while operating a motor vehicle. 

It’s no secret that driving can take up a lot your time.  And sometimes you will get that super important text message from your boss or that critical email from your coworker which you need to respond to ASAP. So, like many people you probably have picked up the phone or texted away while driving. All whilst accepting that you are putting yourself and others in great risk. But what if there was a safe and responsible way to handle those tricky driving situations?

Enter Voice Recognition

Voice recognition technology has greatly advanced in recent years and can now be used as a primary form of input. This is great news for those times you need to use your phone on the road. Your hands and eyes are usually busy when driving, but your voice is not. And if you own a car equipped with Apple CarPlay you will have access to a highly advanced voice recognition system which will work as your very own personal driving assistant.

Enter CarPlay

Vehicles equipped with Apple CarPlay’s hand free voice recognition system enjoy a variety of features like hands-free texting, hands-free navigational mapping, and hands-free web searches. If you drive with CarPlay you will never have to type that risky text on the highway ever again. Your voice assistant will do it for you! Apple CarPlay connects to your phone seamlessly and all incoming message will be available to read on your CarPlay display. You can also use your CarPlay voice assistant for navigational instructions so that you will never have those awkward mapping on the go moments ever again. Browsing the web for a quick question is also just as easy, all you have to do is direct your question to your CarPlay system and you will get a prompt response. 

How to set up your Apple CarPlay Voice Assistant

  • Step 1: Make sure your car is turned on
  • Step 2:  Enable Siri in your iPhone system settings
  • Step 3: Connect your iPhone to your car via USB or Bluetooth
  • Step 4: Use your car’s specific Voice Command button to activate its voice assistant (Check your vehicle’s manual for more instructions)