Could this simple phone feature reduce the death toll on roads?

Earlier today I came across a random tweet. I don’t remember who said it, but it was basically questioning why we didn’t use a particular feature on our phones more.

I scratched my head mentally for a moment thinking ‘I’m sure there must be a damned good reason’, but no amount of pondering the question helped me arrive at a good answer.

Like many of the best ideas it is a simple one: why not have road safety campaigns that encourage…

a. Drivers to use aeroplane mode on our phone while we’re driving.

b. Mobile phone manufacturers to rename Airplane Mode to Driving Mode, seeing as we’re in cars much more than planes

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c. Making it illegal to drive without aeroplane mode on unless you have a hands-free method.

We’ve all seen the safety ad campaigns about not texting or looking at our phone while we’re driving because it distracts you from what you should be doing, which is looking at the road ahead and thinking about your driving.

On the face of it, it seems a really simple and effective solution. If your phone doesn’t ring when someone is calling or go “ping” when you receive a text message you cannot possibly be distracted because you don’t know about it. A sort of what you-don’t-see-won’t-hurt-you approach.

It’s a real pain switching your phone off and then on again, but just changing it to aeroplane mode takes only a second, so it’s much more user-friendly. And if it saves lives, then why not?

Have you ever been distracted by your phone while driving? What do you think of the idea? Would it work?