A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that 13.5 million drivers use cellphones while operating a motor vehicle. Accidents involving distracted drivers have killed more than 3,000 people every year since 2010. In the last few years, car makers have installed in-dash gadgets from phones and navigation systems, to internet browsers in cars, and the government has taken notice.
The NHTSA has recently proposed guidelines for car makers to impose limits on the use of electronic devices, such as the in-dash electronics offered in newer vehicles. Specifically, the agency is asking for car makers to install built-in disabling features that would require drivers to stop the vehicle to put in an address, or disable the phone’s dialing and texting feature while the vehicle is in motion. The guidelines also recommend disabling internet browsing features while the vehicle is moving.
Even though cooperation is voluntary, it is expected that car manufacturers will comply with some of the requests.
Distractions are the last thing a driver needs when on the road. We hope car manufacturers will continue to take the steps necessary to make our cars and roads as safe as possible.