Unfortunately, for those individuals who are addicted to checking their phones while on the road, they may no longer be able to do so in the event that a new regulation is adopted by mobile device makers and car manufacturers. Distracting driving guidelines have already been implemented at the state level in many different locations, but nationwide it has been challenging to address the issue of distracted driving behavior.
The top highway safety agency in the United States is focusing on disabling the most distracting cellphone functions when a person is inside a car. These new guidelines were issued as part of a program from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration based on research that they initiated in 2010. Since that time, however, distracted driving has only become more deadly.
For example, in 2015 there were more than 35,000 traffic deaths in the United States. Up to 10% of those accidents directly involved a distracted driver. All of the campaigns at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has conducted talking about the dangers of distracted driving, unfortunately, has not helped to curb the behavior.
A rising number of individuals are still willing to put their lives on the line in order to check their phone. The new guidelines would incorporate that a vehicle’s original equipment, whether it’s the radio or the navigation screen, have an interface that minimizes how often a driver has to glance away from the road to no more than 2 seconds. The second phase of the NHTSA guidelines builds upon previous recommendations that mobile devices easily pair with vehicles via Bluetooth. This would limit the ability to distract drivers, although recent research has indicated that Bluetooth technology can be just as distracting as a typical phone conversation.