New Rules Aim to Curb Distracted Driving

With the ever increasing use of smart phones and other electronic devices in recent years, distracted driving has emerged as a serious problem on our nation’s roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), half a million people were injured and nearly 6,000 people died in car accidents involving distracted drivers in 2008, the last year for which statistics are available.

Unfortunately, emerging technologies built into new automobiles are likely to make the problem of distracted driving worse. Infotainment systems – systems that allow drivers to connect to the internet, take phone calls, and control their electronic devices – are becoming a popular feature in new cars.

In order to curb the use of these new infotainment systems, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced proposed rules that would require automobile manufacturers to build certain safeguards into their new models. Specifically, the proposed rules would require that all infotainment systems not allow the following actions unless the car is stopped and out of gear:

  • “Visual-manual” text messaging
  • Internet browsing
  • Use of Facebook and other social media
  • Input of an address into a navigation system
  • Input of a phone number

As the DOT makes clear, these proposed rules are not meant to stop the development of automobile technologies, but rather to make sure that the roads are safe for everyone.

A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident with a distracted or texting driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can assess your case and help you get the compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you deserve. For more information, contact an attorney today.

Source: USA Today, “DOT ‘distracted driving’ rules would limit cars’ info systems,” Chris Woodyard.