NHTSA Delivers Distracted Driving Guidelines
April 24, 2013 1:54 PM
comment(s) - last by
This is just Phase 1 of 3
Distracted driving guidelines
have been released in an effort to make auto manufacturers aware of the risks and push them to limit devices associated with distracted driving.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released the guidelines -- which were issued by the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA) -- with recommendations on how and when a driver should interact with certain electronic devices. The recommendations relate to the findings of a new NHTSA naturalistic driving study called "The Impact of Hand-Held and Hands-Free Cell Phone Use on Driving Performance and Safety Critical Event Risk."
According to recommendations in the guidelines, a driver should only take their eyes off the road to perform any task for about two seconds at a time, and twelve seconds total.
Also, certain tasks should not be carried out within a vehicle unless it is stopped and parked, including text entry for text messaging and browsing the Web; watching videos; video phoning/conferencing and reading text from either text messages, social media sites, etc.
NHTSA changed its recommendation to the ban of text from "books, periodical publications, Web page content, social media content, text-based advertising and marketing, or text-based messages."
The new guidelines also stated a couple of
. They state that maps should not include 'three-dimensional, photographic, full location scenery, and/or satellite images' (even though Audi, BMW and Tesla provide navigation systems with satellite imagery) and that cabin electronics like stereos should show no more than 30 characters on a text display (but this was based on Kanji characters, 30 of which translate to an English sentence of 120 characters).
As far as the NHTSA study goes, it found the following: visual-manual tasks associated with hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times; Web browsing, text messaging, and phone dialing resulted in the longest duration of driver's taking their eyes-off-road; text messaging alone upped the risk of a crash or near-crash by two times and resulted in the driver's eyes off the road for 23.3 seconds, and visual-manual activities performed when completing a phone call (reaching for a phone, looking up a contact and dialing the number) increased the crash risk by three times.
The study noted that it did not find a direct risk for increased crash from talking on a cell phone. But it did mention that actions involved with using a phone made its overall use 1.73 times more risky. It even said hands-free and in-vehicle hands-free cell phone use was found to involve visual-manual tasks at least 50 percent of the time.
"Distracted driving is
a deadly epidemic
that has devastating consequences on our nation's roadways," said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. "These guidelines recognize that today's drivers appreciate technology, while providing automakers with a way to balance the innovation consumers want with the safety we all need. Combined with good laws, good enforcement and good education, these guidelines can save lives."
NHTSA will release two more sets of guidelines for distracted driving in the future: Phase 2, which will cover portable electronic devices brought into vehicles, and Phase 3, which will cover voice recognition systems in cars.
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4/25/2013 12:33:15 AM
Some people shouldn't even drive when they are 100% attentive. License tests being "take this automatic clockwise around the block on the nice dry pavement". We need finish drivers license tests to get all the inept drivers off the roads before we deal with "distractions".
4/25/2013 2:02:38 AM
This is exactly how I feel. Having been trained and participated in rally racing I have become a much better driver when it comes to 4+ wheels and feel that people should undergo similar training*.
*The rally school also focused on vehicle control and accident avoidance on various road conditions.
4/27/2013 2:56:29 AM
Agreed. The driver's test is far too easy to pass. It doesn't dictact or observe good driving habits appropriately and is a simple test that people can put their best foot forward once in their life and never again have to show unless a cop is near. Then they drive the speed limit, use their signal, and are overly cautious and courteous.
I attained my driver's permit in the snow, slush, ice, and blizzards. I'm not going to sugar-coat it here: my driving abilities are far superior to others that have never driven in such conditions. It taught me to learn the limits of each and every vehicle I'm driving. When it was my turn to drive for Driver's Education, the instructor said he felt like he was riding with someone that had been driving for 10 years. This was in rush hour traffic on the interstate and city. Mind you, this was only 17 years ago, so I haven't been driving that long. :P
I don't understand why a driver's test isn't conducted every time we renew our licenses, with a closed course with wet and dry traction and with obstacles and reactions to overcome. Of course, there will be a point pass/fail system, so leniency will be available. Why not prevent our roads from having poor driver's on them instead of react to them?
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