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U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes Guidelines to Deal with Distracted Drivers

How is the government planning to eliminate the problem of distracted driving?

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently released proposed guidelines aimed at preventing distracted driving caused by mobile and electronic devices.  The proposals have been released in two phases, with the first phase focusing on devices or systems built into the vehicle while the second phase includes voluntary guidelines for the makers of electronic devices to prevent driver distraction on U.S. roads.  Distracted driving is considered a deadly epidemic, killing tens of thousands of individuals annually.  It is hoped that adoption and implementation of the NHTSA guidelines will reduce the incidence of distracted driving on a national level.

Phase 1:  Guidelines for Vehicle Manufacturers 

Under Phase 1, the NHTSA proposed guidelines for vehicle manufacturers concerning electronic devices installed in vehicles.  The guidelines include limitations on the amount of time a driver must take his or her eyes off the road to perform a task.  They also recommend disabling some options while the vehicle is moving, such as manual text entry, video-based entertainment, and display of texts like text messages or social media content.

Phase 2:  Guidelines for the Makers of Electronic Devices

Under Phase 2, the NHTSA issued voluntary guidelines for developers of electronic devices.  The guidelines encourage the makers of portable electronic devices to develop features that will reduce the potential for driver distraction.  Two such methods include implementing features like pairing, where the portable device is linked to the vehicle’s infotainment center, and Driver Mode, offering a simplified user interface.

In addition to encouraging automobile manufacturers and the makers of portable electronics to take steps to prevent driver distraction, the NHTSA is also urging the public to take safety measures to minimize distraction while driving, including:

  • Put your cell phone down and focus on the road while driving;
  • If using your electronic device for directions, input your destination before departing;
  • Speak up if your driver is using his or her cell phone while driving;
  • Always wear your seat belt.

If you are injured in a car accident that may involve distracted driving, contact a Marietta, Georgia car accident lawyer as soon as possible.  You may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages associated with the accident, such as medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Posted in: Automobile Wrecks