Categories
CarPlay News

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.

Categories
CarPlay Texting & Calls

How to Make and Receive Text Messages with Carplay

One of the best features of Apple’s Carplay is the ability it will give you to read and send texts simply, so you’ll stay safe while you are driving. For all of you CarPlay newbies out there, we’ll break down how you can start both sending and reading texts while driving, how to handle text emojis, and what happens when you are dealing with an attachment photo.

There are two ways you can both send and receive text messages when using CarPlay. You can either use CarPlay’s touchscreen, or you can ask Siri for some help. We’ll cover both ways you can send and receive text messages with CarPlay below.

Using the Touchscreen to Send and Receive Texts

You can use the touchscreen on CarPlay to send and receive texts. To get started, follow these steps:

  • Tap on the Messages selection on your CarPlay touchscreen.
  • If you want to hear your unread messages or respond to something, you’ll need to tap on the unread conversation.
  • If you want to send a new text, select the pencil icon you’d use when sending a new text on your iPhone.

Using Siri to Send and Receive Texts

If you prefer to use CarPlay’s hands-free features, then you’ll need Siri’s help to send and receive texts.

  • Activate Siri by saying, “Hey Siri,” or press your steering wheel control, if you have one, to get Siri’s attention.
  • If you want to hear a new text message you just received, then simply say, “Read my text messages.”
  • If you want to send a text message, then say “Text [contact name] I can meet you for dinner tonight.”

Emojis and Attachments

While it’s great that CarPlay can easily read you your texts and dictate your text message responses with Siri, what happens when somebody sends an emoji? CarPlay won’t leave out emojis in texts, so don’t worry. If somebody sent you an emoji of a smiley in a message, CarPlay will read out the emoji’s description when you want to listen to your text messages.

Also, if you want to dictate to Siri to send a particular emoji, you simply describe that emoji. If you want to learn more about how Siri reads emojis out loud, or how to dictate to Siri to send certain emojis, you can check out this YouTube video.

CarPlay’s message system doesn’t handle photo or video attachments in your texts, so it won’t always be a great idea to reply to those types of texts while driving. After all, CarPlay is designed with safety in mind. Even if you use the CarPlay touchscreen to read messages back or to dictate messages, you won’t see the message thread on your CarPlay screen. Apple made CarPlay purposely like this to prevent distractions while you are driving.

Overall, CarPlay makes it much safer for individuals to both read and reply to texts while they are out driving. Using Siri to remain hands-free is probably your best option for safety while driving.