Nissan found a way to help reduce smartphone distraction at the wheel, which is, obviously, quite a problem on most of our roads, as many drivers tend to check messages and updates as they appear on their phone's screen.

A U.S study of over 1,000 drivers in 2014 found that 98 percent agreed it was dangerous to text and drive, but 74 percent claimed they had done so with 30 percent saying it is "simply a habit" because they are so used to being connected to their phone, and they believed their driving performance was not impacted by texting. Another report states that young drivers in particular are more likely to be distracted. Just under half of drivers (49 percent) aged 25–34 admitted they sometimes go online or use apps while driving. Almost a third of drivers in the same age group said they do this several times a week at least. A case-crossover study entitled Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance shows how these compulsive habits are both dangerous and illegal, as drivers are four times more likely to be in a crash if they are using a phone whilst driving, and their reaction times are two-times slower than those drink-driving.

Nissan UK tackled the problem by adopting an almost 200-year-old technology to help reduce smartphone distraction at the wheel, providing optional connectivity. The Nissan Signal Shield is a prototype compartment built into the armrest of Nissan's acclaimed Juke crossover that is lined with a Faraday cage, an enclosure made of a conductive material, which is an invention from the 1830s.

All you need to do is place your mobile phone in the compartment and the Nissan Signal Shield will create a so-called 'silent zone', blocking all of the phone's incoming and outgoing cellular, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections. To restore the phone's wireless connections, drivers just need to open the armrest to reveal the compartment – which can be done without taking eyes off the road or touching the phone itself – and the phone can reconnect with the mobile network and the car's Bluetooth system.

As said earlier, the Nissan Signal Shield is just a prototype, but it wouldn't it be great, if it ever reached proper production stage! 

See how it works in a video below.

May 5, 2017 Driving photo: Nissan UK

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