Apple iPhone driving safety lock-outApple has patented technology that can lock-out certain function on an iPhone when it detects the user is driving – which could see the end of drivers texting while driving.

The new technology, reports The Guardian, can block the use of text messaging and other key functions while driving, either by using on-board sensors or pulling information from the car itself.

It’s significant news, says the paper, because Apple closely guards its apps and system control – the only way to get a facility like this featured on iPhones is for the tech giant to roll it out itself.

Given the ubiquity of the iPhone, such a feature could have a significant effect on road safety, say experts.

“As a market leader, Apple could have the power to change the culture behind texting and driving,” AA head of motoring policy Paul Watters told The Guardian.

Apple CarPlay to feature safety lock-out?

It is believed the new lock-out feature may be part of Apple’s new CarPlay system, which is currently being adopted by car manufacturers – the 2014 Geneva Motor Show featured many brands revealing they’d signed up to integrate CarPlay into future models.

This could help make it easy and straightforward to use – and this will be key to its success in improving road safety, said Watters. “If it works and is intuitive… that would be a very good step.”

A recent survey by Kwik-Fit revealed that illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel is now the most hated driving habit of Brits – usurping tailgating’s long reign at the top of the table.

Nearly 50% of motorists say others using mobile phones while driving as their number one irritant.

That’s despite it being illegal in the UK since 2003: anyone who’s caught gets an instant £100 fine and 3 penalty points on their licence.