Voice Your Opinion About Distracted Driving

Jan 13, 2017 View Comments by

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is requesting comments on its Visual-Manual NHTSA Driver Distraction Guidelines for Portable and Aftermarket Devices. The deadline to submit comments is February 3.

Voice your opinion today.

AMA logoApplauded by the American Motorcyclist Association, these guidelines are part of the NHTSA’s ongoing effort to combat the problem of distracted and inattentive driving.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is certainly aware of the dangers posed by driver distraction, based on its own 2005 landmark research report released by the NHTSA and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. This report found that “nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event. Primary causes of driver inattention are distracting activities, such as cell phone use …”

In April 2010, the NHTSA called for the development of guidelines addressing driver distraction caused by in-vehicle systems and portable devices. In June 2012, a “Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving” was released by the DOT and NHTSA. The three steps outlined in the blueprint include: enacting and enforcing tough state laws on distracted driving, addressing technology, and better educating young drivers.

These guidelines are being implemented in three phases. The Phase 1 guidelines, released in 2013, covered visual-manual interfaces of electronic devices installed in vehicles as original equipment. The Phase 2 guidelines, the subject of this notice, are intended to reduce the potential distraction associated with hand-held portable and aftermarket devices. While the NHTSA stresses  that it does not encourage the hand-held use of portable devices while driving, the agency believes that an important way to help mitigate the real-world risk posed by driver distraction from portable devices is for these devices to have limited functionality and simplified interfaces when they are used by drivers while driving. More details are available online.

The AMA urges you to voice your opinion before February 3.

Text and Image: AMA and NHTSA


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