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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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RE: Ok
By Solandri on 3/8/2011 8:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
That's circular reasoning though. You have to pay taxes for medical care because the government partially pays for retirees' medical care. Smoking drives up medical care costs, thus driving up your taxes. Ergo you say the government should be allowed to regulate smoking to lower your taxes. You're justifying more government influence on our lives (smoking bans) by citing a problem (increased taxes) caused by more government influence on our lives (medicaid/medicare). (For the record, let me state that I am only moderately libertarian, and I actually do support to an extent government sponsored medical care and bans on smoking.)

The Libertarian viewpoint (which I want to stress again that I don't fully subscribe to) would be that there should be no government-sponsored medical care. If you want to screw up your health by smoking, you should be free to; but you should also have to pay for all the resulting medical costs yourself. If you can't afford it, you die; end of story. Freedom to do what you want is also freedom to get yourself killed through your own bad decisions.

It's the same reason I'm philosophically opposed to helmet and seat belt laws. But as long as we have laws requiring everyone to buy vehicle insurance and requiring hospitals to treat emergency patients regardless of ability to pay (thus distributing those costs over everyone), I will support those laws.

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