Smartphones Could Help Prevent Distracted Driving

What steps could cell phone manufacturers take to prevent distracted driving?

The government is asking smartphone makers to design their phones to discourage distracted driving.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a set of proposed guidelines for cell phone manufacturers to prevent drivers from using their phones while behind the wheel.  Proposed guidelines acknowledge that cell phones themselves may hold the greatest power to stop distracted driving.

Limiting the Use of Your Cell Phone While Driving

Proposals for electronics makers are aimed at restricting the ability of users to interact with their phone while driving.  The NHTSA has asked smartphone makers like Apple and Samsung to lock out most apps whenever someone is driving.  Drivers would still be able to make calls, but they would be locked out from browsing the internet, entering texts, taking photos, and the like.  Navigation systems would operate, but would be altered to avoid driver distraction.  By making alterations to smartphones and other electronic devices, cell phone makers could be a part of the solution to distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Remains Significant Problem in California

According to the California Highway Patrol, at least 84 people were killed in traffic accidents involving distracted driving in 2013.  At least 14 of these deaths were directly linked to cell phone use without a hands-free device.  It is likely that the number of distracted driving deaths is far higher than reported because distracted driving is often hard to identify as the cause of a crash.  Unlike drunk driving, no clear test exists for distracted driving and identifying a distracted driver is no easy feat.  Anyone injured in a car accident that may have involved distracted driving should contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer.  Your attorney will take quick action to gather evidence in support of your car accident case.

The NHTSA’s guidelines are just one of several steps the government is taking to prevent distracted driving.  Ultimately, the NHTSA wants phone makers to develop technology that can determine if someone is driving and disable most apps while the user is behind the wheel.  At present, this technology does not exist.  Until its creation, the NHTSA is calling for phone creators to create a “driver mode” that can be activated by the smartphone user.