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Automakers would have to rethink the kind of electronic devices and the number of these devices used within a vehicle

The first guidelines for reducing distracted driving were proposed by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood yesterday, where automakers would be challenged to cut the number of in-vehicle entertainment and information electronics.

"Distracted driving is a dangerous and deadly habit on America's roadways -- that's why I've made it a priority to encourage people to stay focused behind the wheel," said LaHood. "These guidelines are a major step forward in identifying real solutions to tackle the issue of distracted driving for drivers of all ages."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the new guidelines, which are the very first of their kind. They aim to offer recommended criteria for the kind of electronic devices and the number of these devices used within a vehicle.

The proposed guidelines are currently in Phase l, which applies to light vehicles like cars, pickup trucks, minivans and SUVs. Phase l recommends guidelines that help automakers use electronics that are less likely to distract the driver with tasks that are not associated with the operation of the vehicle, and the use of electronics that won't require the driver's sight and touch for long periods of time.

The exact guidelines for Phase l include the following: reduce complexity and task length required by the device; limit individual off-road glances required for device operation to no more than two seconds in duration; limit device operation to one hand only; limit the amount of manual inputs required for device operation, and limit unnecessary visual information in the driver's field of view.

The Phase l guidelines also recommend that certain in-vehicle features be disabled to the driver, except when the car is in park: visual-manual text messaging; visual-manual social media browsing; visual-manual Internet browsing; visual-manual 10-digit phone dialing; visual-manual navigation system destination entry by address, and the display of more than 30 characters of text to the driver that is unrelated to driving the vehicle.

NHTSA is already looking ahead to Phase ll and Phase lll guidelines, which will take an in-depth look at electronics that are distractions in vehicles, yet not part of the vehicles, like smartphones and tablets. Phase lll is expected to look into voice-activated controls.

LaHood is known for his support for ridding distracted driving, but said he isn't looking to ban electronics in vehicles entirely. Back in December 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) pushed for a ban on hands-free calls while driving in order to reduce distracted driving, and LaHood said he wouldn't back it.

Source: United States Department of Transportation

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RE: Consolidate controls
By FITCamaro on 2/18/2012 7:14:35 PM , Rating: 1
I have a feeling you also love to hear yourself talk. Because you sure like to read what you say.

This post reminds me of Billy Madison.

May god have mercy on your soul.

RE: Consolidate controls
By drycrust3 on 2/18/2012 9:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
I have a feeling you also love to hear yourself talk. Because you sure like to read what you say.

No, I like to read what other people say about what I've written. A logical part of scientific debate is the right to criticise, and if I don't read that then I won't learn. Would you prefer I ignore when people negatively comment on what I write? What would I learn? How will I know when I've goofed? They could present excellent reasons why I've goofed, but it would all be lost because I'm trying to please you and wouldn't have read it.
If we consider this subject, I am a bus driver, which means I am a professional driver, and as such I believe I have as much right to comment on this subject as anyone else, and I have a larger amount of practical experience than most of the people commenting on here, and I sincerely believe that deaths on the road are unnecessary.
Would you prefer it if I didn't think like that? What sort of Christian would I be if I just thought that? I think I'd be a pretty heartless Christian. If I just thought that careless driving is the primary cause of road deaths, what difference would that make to the world? None! Would just thinking about this reduce the road toll? Nope! But by getting out and expressing my opinions in a scientific forum then maybe people will start to think of road deaths as a type of system failure, and just as with any other unreliable system, by using the right techniques you can improve the reliability (i.e. reduce road deaths).
As I said, they did it with TVs and they did it with cars, so there isn't any reason they can't do the same with road deaths. As we saw with motor cars, it required tightening up the standards to which cars were built. The same applies to road deaths: drivers will need to drive better in order to save lives.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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