There’s much to love about Windows Phone, and then there are also a few annoyances also.
One of the most unnecessary issues is the “Permanent Hearing Damage” pop-up, which appears to show up randomly, and then most annoyingly will automatically turn the volume down to half the maximum.
Now the warning is fine, and may even be prudent to avoid legal issues related to hearing loss in users.
Turning down the volume however is a 1000 steps too far, and is actually pretty dangerous.
Many of us use our phones to listen to music or podcasts when driving, connected to a stereo which of course has its own volume controls, and when the volume gets reduced suddenly and unexpectedly, it requires the driver to take their attention off the road and their hands off the wheel to fix the issue.
The volume “bug” happens regularly and repeatedly, and with 50 + million Windows Phone users out there, if it has not already caused a car accident it will likely soon.
The are already complaints about the issue on Uservoice, but surprisingly it only has a few votes. With Microsoft clearly still working on Windows Phone 8.1, now would be a good time to add your voices to demand the removal of this unnecessary and dangerous issue.
Add your vote at the Windows Phone Uservoice here.
Edit: Some readers do not appear to believe this is a serious issue. The stats say differently. Distracted driving causes more than 3000 deaths a year in USA. More than 400,000 people are injured.
- “Adjusting radio/cassette player/CD” is the second most reported cause of distraction related accidents.
- Reaching for a cell phone increases your odds of getting in an accident more than 7 times.
- Reaching for a cell phone distracts a driver for 4.6 seconds, or the equivalent of the length of a football field, if the vehicle is traveling 55 miles per hour.
The increased risk is real, and in this case it is being increased for no good reason. The warning is fine, but dropping the volume, causing users to need to act to correct it, is wrong and dangerous.