How to Activate Do Not Disturb While Driving on Android

I bet you’ve seen it in movies! The part where a protagonist answers the phone while driving then suddenly, he was in an accident. A common movie plot that we’re tired of seeing. But, it does happen in real life.

To prevent it from happening, turn on you “Do Not Disturb Mode” on Android.


This mode will block cellphone calls, texts, and notifications. In some devices, you can also choose which apps to block and which not to.

But, when worse comes to worst…

Some forget to manually disable notifications on their phones, especially when in a hurry.

The good news is… You can do it automatically! Phew…

In this article, we will teach you how to do that. So, let’s get started!

Method 1: How to turn on Do Not Disturb mode on Pixel phone

This section helps you only if you have a Pixel 2 or a Pixel 3, where Google added a feature that promises to automatically identify whether the user is driving or not – and limit the alerts and notification received.

This is possible due to the Activity Recognition – AI-based system that follows movement feedback from various sensors. Should the phone decide that you’re driving, it will silence incoming notifications – like messages, emails, and alerts-  automatically. Calls are allowed, but they will be redirected to the car’s Bluetooth-connected audio system.

So let’s get to it!

How to set up driving mode on Pixel 3

Step 1.

Open your phone’s Settings.

Step 2.

Press Connected Devices, then select Connection preferences and press Driving mode.

Step 3.

Press Behavior.

  • If you’re interested in using your phone – to some extent – during driving, select Open Android Auto. If you want to know more about this feature, check our article What is Android Auto? (Quick Guide and Review 2019).
  • If you’re keen on not using your phone at all during driving, select Turn on Do Not Disturb. 

Step 4.

Press Turn on automatically.

  • If your car has the option of Bluetooth connection – tap When connected to Bluetooth, and then select your car.
  • If you do not have the Bluetooth option, tap When driving is detected.

How to set up a driving rule for Pixel 2

Step 1.

Open your phone’s Settings app.

Step 2.

Press Sound, then select Do Not Disturb.

Step 3.

Press Turn on automatically.

Step 4.

Press Add rule, then select Driving.

Step 5.

At the top of your screen, make sure that your rule is turned on.

Step 6.

To delete a rule, all you have to do is tap Delete.

Method 2: How to turn on Do Not Disturb While Driving Mode on Any Android Phone

There are plenty of apps that are based on the software developed by Google for Pixel phones. They work with any device with Android 4.1 or up – and setting them up is a breeze!

We’ll be showing you how to use Driving Detective, but if you want to know more about this kind of apps – that work not only when driving – we recommend that you read our list of 4 Best Android Do Not Disturb Apps.

So let’s see what this is all about!

Step 1.

Go to Google Play Store and install the app.

Driving Detective on Google Play Store
Driving Detective on Google Play Store
Google Play download button

Step 2.

Turn on the app.

Turn on Driving Detective
Turn on Driving Detective

Step 3.

Give the necessary access.

Permission to access Do Not Disturb settings Driving Detective
Permission to access Do Not Disturb settings

Step 4.

Set your preferences – either Total Silence, Alarms Only or Priority Only.

Set preferences on Driving Detectve
Set the mode you prefer to use

If you selected Priority Mode, you should also check Priority Mode Settings below, to see what your default settings are and check if you want to change something.

Priority mode settings Driving Detective
Priority mode settings

This app decides whether you’re driving or not based on your speed. However, it might trigger the Do Not Disturb Mode while also on public transport, but all you have to do is simply turn it off, like Step 2 in reverse.

Method 3: How to limit interruptions during the Do Not Disturb Mode

Perhaps you’d rather not have a total block-down of your notifications. Luckily for you, this mode is customizable. Let’s see how!

Step 1.

Quickly turn off the Do Not Disturb Mode

If you want to turn off the Do Not Disturb Mode, just swipe down the top of our screen and tap the Do Not Disturb icon.

Step 2.

Change settings

Using your by default options, most sound and vibration will be stopped. However, you can select how most notifications act.

  • How to set what to block – in the mode’s settings, you can select what to block or allow. If you chose Sound & vibration – you will select what to do with media notifications, alarms, and touch sound. With Notifications, you will have no sounds and no visuals from your phone’s notifications.
  • Set exceptions to allow – also in the mode’s settings, you have some options to choose from. Calls – you can either Allow calls – from anyone, contacts or starred contacts only – or allow None. With Messages, events & reminders – you can Allow all 3 types of notifications, or pick the ones that get through – from anyone, contacts or starred contacts only.

However, with any settings, critical notifications – like the ones from your system security – can’t be blocked.

If you want to know more about the Do Not Disturb Mode, we suggest you read our article about How to Use Do Not Disturb Feature on Android.


When does driving mode automatically turn off?

It usually turns off after you walk for 30 seconds or if you didn’t move for 10 minutes.

What happens to texts and phone calls when Do Not Disturb mode is activated?

The notifications will still be shown, but there won’t be any sound or vibration. Your texts are still unread, you just don’t hear when they come in. However, phone calls are sent to voicemail.

What phones have a driving mode?

Momentarily, only Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 from Google have a driving mode that turns on Do Not Disturb Mode automatically when the phone detects you’re driving.

However, this feature is available on any Android phone through 3rd party apps that use the same software Google used on Pixel phones.

Activating the Do Not Disturb mode while driving – life-saving

We all struggle with ignoring the notifications on our phone – even when our hands are not free. However, when tempted to check that message from your friend that popped up while you were driving, let technology be the responsible one and put your notifications for safekeeping when you get out of your car.

Ultimately, we hope that this article has helped you out. If you have any related questions, do let us know in the comment section below!

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