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NHTSA Working To Unplug Drivers From Mobile Devices

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On: Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 12:57PM | By: Tim Healey

NHTSA Working To Unplug Drivers From Mobile Devices

Federal officials appear to be fed up with drivers texting and talking while driving, and they're increasing their campaign to get drivers to focus on the road.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administrator David Strickland said that the agency is continuing to study ways to get drivers to take time away from their smartphones to focus on driving.

Facebook, Twitter, and in-car infotainment systems like Ford's Sync and GM's OnStar are distracting drivers, according to the agency.

NHTSA is looking to develop guidelines for the uses of these systems in cars and publish the guidelines in the fall.

Ford, GM, and other makes are considering adding social-media applications to cars, and there are already Internet applications in several models.

Manufacturers have a powerful incentive to build these systems, since car buyers are highly connected to their smartphones and other mobile devices. Automakers feel that they need to offer a better system than their competitors, in order to attract buyers who can't bear to part with their smartphones while driving. Given how many municipalities have enacted laws cracking down on distracted driving and how at least some motorists are aware of the dangers of driving while distracted, the automakers are selling their apps as offering a safe way to remain connected while on the road.

Indeed, manufacturers will say that thanks to technologies such as voice recognition, these systems actually reduce the potential for distracted driving.

Whatever the case, it's clear that distracted driving remains a major focus for both NHTSA and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Distracted driving has become a major concern, and both automakers and the government say they are focusing on reducing the problem. The big question is what the guidelines will entail.

There's a chance that the federal government could pass rules that limit the use of these technologies, of course, but that would be met with resistance from automakers. What is clear is that the issue of distracted driving is on the minds of both the automakers and the rulemakers.



AutoShopperJustin | 6:13AM (Sat, Jun 11, 2011)

I think any text, email, facebook status can wait until you get to your destination.


Andrew3042 | 12:16PM (Mon, Jun 20, 2011)

Remember the days when you actually had to wait until you got home to check your answering machine? Now people go nuts if they have bad signal and can't check their facebook page when at a restaurant.

  • Andrew3042


dwalter | 8:57AM (Wed, Jul 13, 2011)


  • dwalter

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