New iPhone update could save thousands of lives

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The new iPhone update could potentially save thousands of lives.

IOS 11 has several changes including a feature that would stop texting and driving.

You have the option to turn on “do not disturb while driving.”

In doing that, the phone will not alert you while the car is moving and will even send an automated message back to the person that texted you.

One Rapid City officer says distracted driving is a problem here in Rapid City.

Crash Reconstructionist, James Ronfeldt, says, "Without a doubt you over the years that I've investigated crashes distractions are the primary cause of wrecks and also tickets. Crashes that I investigate probably 90% of them are involved with distracted driving."

According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed the lives of almost 3,500 people in 2015.

“When you look at the stats, the stats say when you're texting and driving then you're 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash. The stats show that over the last year or so that there's been 21.6 million crashes in the United States resulting from the use of cell phones while you're driving that includes talking on the phone and includes texting," adds Ronfeldt.

Even though it is optional to turn on the application, it’s a step in the right direction.

Ronfeldt states, "I think that the application is a good idea. It's user operated so if you want to be safe on the wheel then you can put that in the motion. Anything that can take your distractions off and get you back to paying attention to the road is a good thing."

If you a passenger in a car, you will still be able to use your phone.
The new update will launch in autumn.