Shortly after our lawyers published the latest blog entry on the subject of distracted driving on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Transportation released a new set of manufacturer guidelines that they believe will reduce in-car distractions and hopefully reduce the incidence of personal injury or wrongful death as the result of distracted driving accidents.
The U.S. Transportation Secretary released the new guidelines to encourage auto manufacturers to limit the potential risk of distraction when designing electronic devices for their vehicles. “Combined with good laws, good enforcement, and good education, these guidelines can save lives,” said the Secretary, “these guidelines recognize that today’s drivers appreciate technology, while providing automakers with a way to balance the innovation consumers want with the safety we all need.”
Issued by the Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the guidelines recommend specific criteria for designing the electronic devices that are installed in vehicles going forward, and include proposed limits for the amount of time drivers must take their eyes off the road, or their hands off the wheel. The DOT also recommends that in the future several electronic operations should be disabled within vehicles unless the vehicle is stopped or in park, including all video entertainment, media browsing, and manual text entry systems to name a few. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; U.S. Department of Transportation)