How to use Do Not Disturb while driving

Do not disturb
Do not disturb mobile

While notifications are a great way to make sure you never miss an alert, giving your phone a rest when you're driving is always a good call. Fortunately, there's features available on iOS and Android that will push for safer driving habits.

For Apple

The iPhone's current software has a setting called 'Do Not Disturb While Driving', which is available by default on iOS 11. The mode not only limits and mutes notifications, but also replies to contacts who send you messages while you're driving, giving them a heads-up that you're on the road. What's more, once turned off, you'll find all your alerts waiting for you.


First, you'll need to launch Settings and select Do Not Disturb. From the Do Not Disturb settings, scroll down to find the Do Not Disturb While Driving section. Next, you'll need to tap on Activate and you'll then see the following three options:

  1. Automatically
  2. When connected to car Bluetooth and,
  3.  Manually

When Automatically is selected, the Do Not Disturb While Driving will activate when your iPhone detects that you're moving at a speed that's similar to being in a vehicle. If you choose When Connected to Car Bluetooth, the feature will mobilise when it connects to your car's Bluetooth-enabled receiver. And, if you'd prefer to enable or disable the feature yourself, Manually is available by tapping on the car image in your control centre. Whenever Do Not Disturb While Driving is activated, you'll see a bar at the top of the screen letting you know incoming notifications are being muted.

We hope it's never the case, but things happen and there are times when texts and notifications must come through, whether you're driving or not. If it's an emergency, Apple provides a way for the message sender to get through the Do Not Disturb feature by replying with 'urgent' for an emergency. When the sender types in urgent, the notification goes through - however, when this occurs, it's important you ask Siri to read the message out to you.


Don't see the car icon in Control Centre?
  • Go to settings > Control Centre > Customise Controls
  • Tap the green plus sign (+) next to Do Not Disturb While Driving

For Android

If you want to quickly enable Do Not Disturb mode, simply swipe down from the top of your screen to open the notification shade and select the Do Not Disturb icon. To make changes to your settings, you'll need to long tap on the Do Not Disturb icon to go into the Settings menu.


 Once you're in settings, you'll see the following three options:

  1. Behaviour
  2. Exceptions and,
  3. Schedule

In the Behaviours section, you'll find two options, Sound and Vibration, as well as Notifications. In Sound and Vibration you can choose what you'd like to be muted - including alarms, media and touch sounds. The second option is Notifications, here you can hide the sound from notifications, or you can hide visual and sound interruptions. To tailor even further, tap on the gear icon next to Custom and toggle off things like 'don't turn on screen', 'don't blink light' and 'hide notification dots'.

Exceptions is the second section, and it allows you to create a list of contacts who can reach you during Do Not Disturb. The final section is called Schedule and in this, you'll find two subsections: Duration and Turn Off Automatically. When you tap on the Duration tab, a popup will appear allowing you to enable Do Not Disturb until you manually turn the feature off, set a defined time limit, or have the system ask you each time you wish to enable the Do Not Disturb feature.

The Turn On Automatically section allows you to automatically turn Do Not Disturb Mode on and you can also set custom rules in this section - including an option to turn the mode on when the phone detects you're driving. Tap on Add Rule to create a rule, choose whether it's an event or a time, add a name, and then follow the instructions on the screen to configure it further.

It's important to note that you might find some differences in the menu options from phone to phone, but Do Not Disturb is baked into stock Android and should be present on every Android handset running Android 6.0 or later.


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