NHTSA issues voluntary guidelines for OEMs on driver distraction

  • 24-Apr-2013 09:14 EDT

NHTSA (U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is recommending that in designing their vehicles, automakers disable manual text entry for text messaging and Internet browsing if the vehicle is not stopped and in park. That is just one disabling recommendation listed by the agency in voluntary guidelines it issued April 23. Also recommended to be disabled are video-based entertainment and communications such as video-phoning or video-conferencing, as well as display of certain types of text including text messages, webpages, and social-media content. The guidelines include recommendations to limit the time a driver must take his eyes off the road to perform any task to 2 s at a time and 12 s total. Those and other recommendations are consistent with the findings of a new NHTSA study, "The Impact of Hand-Held and Hands-Free Cell Phone Use on Driving Performance and Safety Critical Event Risk," including the fact that visual-manual tasks associated with handheld phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times.

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