NHTSA Proposes New Guidelines to Combat Distracted Driving

Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released new guidelines discouraging vehicle manufacturers from installing new devices in cars that allow drivers to text or use in-vehicle devices to surf the web.

At first the NHTSA only proposed limiting the number of characters that would be allowed for text entry in cars used for texting or browsing the Internet, but after further review, it has been suggested that there be a ban placed on all character input while driving. In fact, the NHTSA only advises for maps or location information to be displayed, and even then, without displaying 3D or photorealistic images.

As of now, these guidelines are not mandatory and will not go into effect for at least three years. These new recommendations do not apply to existing vehicle models that will not undergo any substantial changes.

According to the NHTSA, separate guidelines will be proposed to cell phone manufacturers as well as producers of other devices.

312490_man_talking_on_the_cell_phone.jpgThese guidelines are supported by the Department of Transportation in its fight to eliminate distracted driving, which claimed 3,331 lives in the U.S. in 2011. Within that same year, another 387,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents.

Distracted driving occurs any time a motorist focuses their attention on something other than the primary task of driving. Distracted driving can include the following behaviors while behind the wheel:

• Eating and drinking
• Reading Maps
• Applying Makeup
• Texting
• Talking on a Cell Phone
• Playing with Radio Dials or iPod
• Talking to Other Passengers


Even though distracted driving is not a new problem, it has definitely evolved over the years into a much larger issue due to the many technological innovations readily available to the public. Handheld devices, such as smart phones and tablets, have really increased the number of distracted drivers on the road and pose a huge threat to others strictly because using these devices requires a driver’s visual, cognitive and manual attention all at once. Engaging in this risky driving practice creates a crash risk 23 times higher than driving while not distracted, according to the NHTSA.

Distracted drivers place everyone on the road around them at risk for serious injury or even death should an accident arise. If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver in Inverness, Crystal River or the surrounding areas, a Citrus County Auto Accident Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton may be able to help you recover compensation for damages. We fight aggressively for the maximum compensation needed to so that car accident victims can move on with their lives. Contact us today online or call 352-726-0078 for your free case review.

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