DOT Proposes Guidelines to Address Driver Distraction Caused by Mobile Devices

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released proposed guidelines November 23 to address driver distraction caused by mobile and other electronic devices in vehicles.

The announcement covers the second phase of voluntary guidelines to address driver nhtsa_logo2distraction on U.S. roads. The first phase focused on devices or systems built into the vehicle at the time of manufacture.

“These commonsense guidelines, grounded in the best research available, will help designers of mobile devices build products that cut down on distraction on the road,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a DOT announcement.

The proposed, voluntary guidelines are designed to encourage portable and aftermarket electronic device developers to design products that reduce the potential for driver distraction when used while driving. The guidelines encourage manufacturers to implement features such as pairing, where a portable device is linked to a vehicle’s infotainment system, as well as “Driver Mode,” a simplified user interface.

“NHTSA has long encouraged drivers to put down their phones and other devices, and just drive,” said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. “With driver distraction one of the factors behind the rise of traffic fatalities, we are committed to working with the industry to ensure that mobile devices are designed to keep drivers’ eyes where they belong — on the road.”

NHTSA is seeking public comments on its proposed guidelines. Written comments can be submitted at Regulations.gov.

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