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NHTSA Asks Phone Makers to Help Stop Distracted Driving

In December 2016, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration published a new proposal as Phase 2 of its Driver Distraction Guidelines. The guidelines, which were aimed at cellphone manufacturers, suggested that phones be equipped with a driver mode to stop car and truck drivers from using them while they are traveling on roads in Mississippi and around the country.

The guidelines include a recommendation that phones gain the ability to be paired with vehicles. A paired device could then automatically have its screen turned off. Although emergency services would still be accessible, the screen lockdown might discourage drivers from looking at their devices and putting everyone around them at risk. In cases where circumstances might prevent phones from being paired with vehicles, drivers would need to turn on driver mode manually until technology progresses to the point where phones could determine when to activate driver mode automatically.

Driver mode would block motorists from doing things like reading text messages, scrolling through content and going online to view websites. It would also stop them from entering text by hand. Although they could still use map functions, image and video display would be barred in all other circumstances.

Many different factors can contribute to truck accidents. In addition to having to contend with truckers who might be fatigued or unqualified, motorists are placed at risk by operators who get distracted by devices like phones. Victims of accidents may sustain serious personal injuries that come with high medical costs or render them unable to work and provide for themselves. Those who suspect that phone use might have contributed to their personal injuries might want to talk to attorneys about the types of evidence they can use to support their allegations.