Published on Feb 22, 2012 by Edgar Snyder

NHTSA Wants Auto Makers to Help Curb Distracted Driving

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As technology evolves, cars have become more about convenience and entertainment than just getting you from point A to point B. GPS systems tell you where to go. Mp3 players give you access to the music you want, when you want it. Automated web surfing lets you check the news and Facebook wherever you are. It's the future. It's amazing. Unfortunately, it's also highly dangerous.

In 2010 alone, distracted driving contributed to more than 3,000 driving-related deaths. That's not even including all of the close calls and injuries. Technology isn't slowing down, but officials are hoping to make it safer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has decided that, while it may be impossible to curb distracting gadgets in cars, it's time to suggest regulations for this technology – and create a safer driving environment. Here is what the NHTSA proposed:

  • Drivers must be able to have at least one hand on the wheel while operating the gadget.
  • Drivers must be able to operate devices without looking away from the road for more than two seconds.
  • Devices can't distract drivers with unnecessary visual information in a driver's field of view.
  • They recommend disabling devices that need input material unless the car is stopped and in park.

It's great that the automobile industry is starting to pay attention to the dangers technology can pose. Despite all the guidelines and safety features, however, you must remember that the most important factor in safe driving is you.

If you're going to be driving, keep your focus on the road. Pull over if you have to make a phone call or text, have a passenger control the radio or GPS, and remember that it's more important to stay safe on the roads than reading the newest celebrity tweet.

Please be sure to sign our Don't Text & Drive pledge. All you need to do is "like" our law firm's fan page and fill out some basic information. You'll be entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. Every person makes a difference, and you can help put a stop to distracted driving deaths.

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