NHTSA Addresses Smartphone Distracted Driving

distracted driving

Distracted driving is a huge problem, this we know. So the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is hoping some new guidelines will help continuing efforts to address it.

This week it released a second phase of proposed voluntary guidelines – these focused on smartphones and mobile devices. The first phase focused on devices or systems built into vehicles.

In a nutshell, the government wants smartphone makers to design products that reduce potential for driver distraction. Things like implementing a Driver Mode.  The idea behind that is devices would detect whether you’re driving or a passenger. If you’re driving, the device would to automatically switch to Drive Mode and limit functionality.   It would prohibit things like playing videos, manually texting, scrolling, and displaying books.

“NHTSA has long encouraged drivers to put down their phones and other devices, and just drive,” said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. “With driver distraction one of the factors behind the rise of traffic fatalities, we are committed to working with the industry to ensure that mobile devices are designed to keep drivers’ eyes where they belong — on the road.”

Meanwhile, the NHTSA continues to urge the driving public to take the following safety precautions to minimize distraction while driving:

  • Be a safe, distraction-free driver, put your cell phone down and focus on the road
  • When using electronic devices for directions, set the destination prior to driving
  • Speak up when you’re a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to call or text for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task
  • Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against other unsafe drivers

Photo Copyright: Martin Novak/Shutterstock

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