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MyFord Touch
At least not today...

Deaths from auto accidents related to distracted driving are nothing new and have been making headlines for years. The federal government is looking at ways to penalize drivers for using things like cell phones and texting while driving. So far, there is no federal ban for the masses against distracted driving, but several states have made their own laws that ban driving and using a cell phone or texting.

Whether or not the police in areas where bans are in effect can catch drivers using their phones is a point of debate. Some people claim that driving and talking on a mobile phone using hands free technology like OnStar from GM or Sync from Ford is just as distracting as holding a phone and talking while you drive.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has stated that the NHTSA will not at this time seek any ban on hands free technology while driving. However, LaHood notes that the NHTSA is investigating whether features like OnStar and Sync pose a "cognitive distraction" to users. If the research the NHTSA is performing proves that these hands free systems are a distraction more regulations could be imposed.

LaHood said, "We base our solutions on data, and before I or anyone else gets up and starts talking about 'hands-free this' or 'hands-free that,' or Sync or whatever, we want to have good data to back it up."

LaHood said that a study that the NHTSA conducted last year found that over 5,500 people died in 2009 in accidents that were a direct result of distracted driving. Ford and OnStar maintain that their hands free systems allow the driver to use their mobile phone in a safer manner with fewer distractions.

Ford's Alan Hall said, "Drivers are going to have conversations on the phone, read maps and directions, and listen to their MP3 player while they drive. Ford Sync helps them perform these tasks safer." 

GM has noted that it has no evidence that suggests crashes increase when drivers use OnStar hands free features. LaHood said, "Until we have some good data on some of these systems, which we're studying right now, we can't really say for certain." 

Consumer Reports would agree that MyFord Touch that works with Sync on some Ford vehicles is a confusing and distracting system. Ford is offering classes at some dealers to teach buyers how to work the MyFord Touch system and Sync.



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No conversing while driving
By tayb on 3/8/2011 2:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
Recent evidence suggests that conversing while driving is considered dangerous therefore the federal government is exerting power it was never supposed to have and banning all passengers from vehicles beginning immediately.

Also part of this ban is the use of radios, speedometers, and ac/heat controls as those have also been deemed too distracting.




RE: No conversing while driving
By hyvonen on 3/8/2011 2:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
Automatic climate control will be mandated for all cars starting 2014.


RE: No conversing while driving
By jharper12 on 3/8/2011 4:04:48 PM , Rating: 3
It's hard to tell if this is a joke these days... it is, but then, why on Earth are backup cameras slated to be mandatory? I'd rather have automatic climate control mandated than backup cameras mandated.

My next car will definitely have automatic climate control... makes remote start a very useful thing.


RE: No conversing while driving
By Adonlude on 3/9/2011 6:05:20 PM , Rating: 2
No, passengers won't be banned. Talking to passengers will be banned and Gov will mandate that microphones be installed in your car for law enforcement monitoring. Tickets will be written for those speaking to passengers while driving.

Driving under the influence of conversation!


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