Distracted driving kills more than 3,000 people each year in the United States, a figure that represents about 10 percent of all traffic fatalities. How many of those people die because they were fiddling with their phones or navigating their navigation systems isn’t clear, but no matter. The feds say they’ve got “the ultimate solution” for curbing the use of mobile devices while we’re mobile, as reported by Wired Magazine.
Nathaniel Beuse, associate administrator for vehicle safety research at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says government regulation coupled with standards set by automakers and the electronics industry could reduce fatalities. He says we need “a technological solution, some sort of innovation” in which the device or the car would recognize when the driver is using a mobile device and deactivate it, according to Wired.
“This would be the ultimate solution,” he says.
Federal regulators want to make it impossible for you to send a text, update Facebook or surf Instagram while driving, a campaign that could have as big an impact on mobile phone manufacturers as automakers. This spring, the NHTSA and its parents at the Department of Transportation laid out — in a 281-page report (.pdf) — several guidelines for accomplishing this, the magazine reported.
As we noted at the time, a key objective is limiting the amount of time a driver takes his eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, with a maximum of two seconds for each input and total of 12 seconds to complete a task. NHTSA wants automakers to make it impossible to enter text for messaging and internet browsing while the car is in motion, disable any kind of video functionality and prevent text-based information such as social media content or text messages from being displayed, according to Wired Magazine.