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NHTSA proposes rules to block some cellphone functions

On roadways in Louisiana and throughout the nation, distracted driving is becoming a major cause of car and truck accidents. Therefore, in an attempt to cut down on this behavior, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed additions to its Driver Distraction Guidelines.

They include requesting cellphone manufacturing companies to create a driver mode function to block particular mobile phone features and device pairing. While the proposed guidelines are voluntary and based on manual activation, the agency hopes that further technological advances supporting automatic driver mode may soon be implemented.

Device pairing works by linking the mobile phone device to a system inside the vehicle, which would render the phone's visual interface inaccessible and therefore deter the driver from being distracted by the phone. The phone's emergency notifications and services would still work, however. If device pairing will not work, the NHTSA has proposed driver mode, which locks out many of the phone's features. While in this mode, drivers will be unable to use certain tasks and functions, such as displaying text messages, photos and videos, except for navigational purposes.

The agency has been encouraging drivers to refrain from using their mobile phones and various devices and to concentrate on just driving. A representative said that it is its goal to work with the cellphone industry to create a way to keep people from being distracted while driving.

Distracted driving can lead to a semi truck accident that could result in catastrophic injuries to people in other vehicles. If it can be determined that the truck driver was distracted by a cellphone or other device at the time of the crash, a personal injury attorney could provide assistance to a victim who is seeking compensation for the losses that have been sustained.

Source: Overdrive Online, "'Driver mode' proposed by NHTSA to lock certain cell phone features while driving", Matt Cole, Dec. 6, 2016

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