U.S. Department of Transportation Urges Cell Phone Makers to Develop ‘Driving Mode’ Feature

The rampant act of texting and driving shows no signs of stopping or slowing down anytime soon. Even with the addition of laws, public safety announcements, driving simulations in schools, and stories of fatal accidents, distracted driving is becoming less of a trend and more of a way of life. But, safety regulators aren’t giving up.

In an effort to combat texting and driving, the United States Department of Transportation issued voluntary guidelines for makers of portable and aftermarket electronic devices urging them to implement a pairing feature as well as develop a “driver mode.” The features would encourage hands-free phone use and should disable some of the device’s distracting features such as texting, email and navigation apps while a vehicle is moving.

According to a statement made by NHTSA, “Both pairing and Driver Mode will reduce the potential for unsafe driver distraction by limiting the time a driver’s eyes are off the road, while at the same time preserving the full functionality of these devices when they are used at other times.”

As noted on Distraction.gov, in 2014 just over 3,000 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Vehicle manufacturers and phone providers have been trying to lower these incidents by introducing safety features and through marketing campaigns. Still, there is no evidence that distracted driving is slowing down. As government officials try to sort out this very serious problem, the introduction of new technology to prevent distracted driving by independent companies can only help.

“These commonsense guidelines, grounded in the best research available, will help designers of mobile devices build products that cut down on distraction on the road,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The announcement comes as the second phase of voluntary guidelines that look to curb distracted driving rates. The first phase involved features built into the vehicle at the time of manufacturing.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident or have suffered a fatal loss due to someone else’s negligence behind the wheel, a motor vehicle accident attorney may be able to help you recover damages. Drivers are expected to operate a vehicle by abiding by all safety laws, including refraining from texting and driving. In the unfortunate event of a serious accident, contact an auto accident lawyer to learn more about how you may be compensated for damages and medical expenses.

References:

(2016). Here’s How The U.S. Government Plans to Save You From ‘Texting While Driving’. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://fortune.com/2016/11/24/department-transportation-driving-driver-distraction-texting/

U.S. DOT proposes guidelines to address driver distraction caused by mobile devices in vehicles . (2016, November 23). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://www.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Press-Releases/nhtsa_distraction_guidelines_phase2_11232016