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January 21, 2014

Stay safe with Windows Phone Driving Mode

It wasn’t that long ago that driving from A-to-the-unknown would have meant positioning a chunky road map on the passenger seat, replete with sticky note reminders and scrawled text saying “take the A239 NOT the A293”.

We’ve come a long way since those analogue and, sometimes, dangerous days. Automotive guidance systems, such as Nokia’s HERE Drive+ takes the pain out of wrong turns and right mistakes.


However, as part of the recent Black Update, compatible WP8 phones now benefit from added safety features when gobbling up road miles.

If you’re new to Driving Mode, let us get you on course. Firstly, jump into Settings and tap on the Driving Mode set-up option. Here you’ll get an overview of what the new safety feature does. In a nutshell it disables all notifications apart from incoming phone calls and text messages while you’re driving.

Though, there are various options to customise your level of contact.

Click Next and you’ll be presented with the option to ignore calls and/or texts. Choose to do either (or both) and the succeeding screen will allow you to set up an automatic text-message reply to callers and/or texters.

Pre-determined responses will, however, only be sent to people in your Contacts list. It should also be noted that Driving Mode will never disable emergency calls and alerts.


If your car has integrated Bluetooth, the next screen will allow Driving Mode to be automatically enabled as soon as your Lumia connects to it – just tap your chosen device from the list. (NB: You can’t select a new Bluetooth device during this set-up procedure, you’ll have to exit and connect your device via the Bluetooth menu in Settings, first).

Now, whenever you enter your car, a notification will pop up, asking you whether to Start Driving Mode or not. If you haven’t got Bluetooth in the car, just dip back into the Driving Mode set-up (via Settings) and flick the Status to ‘On’.


Here you’ll also able to toggle incoming calls and texts on/off, add Bluetooth devices and, most helpfully, pin Driving Mode to the Start screen.

Happy driving and stay safe.



image credit: Damian Morys Photography