NHTSA Begins Distracted Driving Hearings – Will Automakers Listen?
The new your vehicle’s dashboard is an entertainment smorgasbord and texting while driving trend is coming under scrutiny from the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration that is beginning three days of hearings. The NHTSA is working on finalizing “voluntary” guidelines, will automakers pay attention?In car navigation and advanced computer-like dash systems, like the Toyota Entune, compete for a driver’s attention. These in-dash devices combined with our cell phones loaded with social media, text messaging and regular phone call capabilities means distracted driving has definitely become an issue.
The NHTSA is holding public hearings as it works on guidelines that will steer auto manufactures to take into consideration how much attention these types of devices take away from drivers.
“Through our public hearings here and in other cities across the country this week, we are getting the chance to hear firsthand from you the public, about these guidelines,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said.
There will be three hearings beginning this week in Chicago and Los Angeles. The last hearing on March 23, will be a workshop at the NHTSA Vehicle and Research Test Center in East Liberty, Ohio, that will focus on the technical details of the guidelines.
Automakers want to have at least 60 days to comment on the guidelines before they are released and they also want access to studies the NHTSA is drawing upon to craft them.
Essentially a big part of what NHTSA is asking for is for automakers to develop technologies that would disable time-consuming functions, like Web browsing or text-messaging, while the car is moving. They would be enabled if the car is stopped or parked.
In February the NHTSA urged automakers to work on ways to reduce the time a driver spends working the in-car navigation and entertainment systems.
“Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and can have deadly consequences,” Strickland said.
While we have all no-doubt seen cases of distracted driving, what do you think of guidelines and would automakers follow them? Also, what about the passengers in vehicles, should they barred from Web browsing or text messaging?
Filed Under: Auto News