The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed a new set of voluntary guidelines. They are meant to reduce rising number of deaths caused by distracted driving.
The guidelines apply to device makers and app developers such as Apple, Google and others, according to a NHTSA spokesman. They should encourage portable and aftermarket electronic device developers to design products that, when used while driving, reduce the potential for driver distraction.
Switching off texts, apps and games
NHTSA guidelines recommend that companies design their portable devices to be paired with in-car systems, and be operated using the vehicle’s user interface.
In addition to this, some cell phone functions, such as playing most video, text entry for messaging or internet browsing and displaying social media content, will be disabled. If those functions are not “locked out”, a simplified “driver mode” should be offered. In that way functionality is limited even when device is not paired with a vehicle’s infotainment or navigation interface.
Road accidents are still on the rise
Despite the creation of technology allowing drivers to dial and text hands-free and infotainment systems that keep some functions off limits when the vehicle is in gear, roadway accidents are still on the rise. NHTSA says that 10 percent of 35,092 fatal crashes in 2015 and 16 percent of the 5, 6 million nonfatal crashes in 2014 came as the result of driver’s distraction.
“These common sense guidelines, grounded in the best research available, will help designers of mobile devices build products that cut down on distraction on the road,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.