Last week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood proposed the first guidelines for reducing distracted driving, which is becoming an ever-increasing problem in theU.S.The NHTSA released the guidelines for automakers, which aim to offer criteria for the types of electronic devices and the number of those devices used within a vehicle.

The guidelines are issued in three phases, and they are currently in Phase I. Phase I applies to light vehicles, such as cars, minivans, SUVs and pickups. In Phase I, guidelines are suggested that help automakers make use of electronics that are not as likely to distract the driver with tasks that aren’t required for the operation of the vehicle. Phase I also recommends any electronic devices within the vehicle not require the use of the driver’s sight and touch for long periods of time.

Specifically, the guidelines recommend that any in-vehicle electronic devices reduce the complexity and task length required by the device; any off-road glances required to operate the device be limited to no more than two seconds; limit the operation of any device to only one hand; and limit the amount of inputs required for device operation. Phase I also recommends that some in-vehicle features be disabled unless the car is in park, such as Internet browsing, 10-digit phone dialing, texting, social media browsing, and GPS destination entry by address. Phase II and III are going to look into electronics that aren’t yet part of the vehicles but do serve as distractions, as well as voice-activated controls.

Tragically, distracted driving is killing thousands of Americans each year. If you have been injured in an accident by a distracted driver in theDallasarea, call the personal injury attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 817-527-8833. Our experienced attorneys will work hard on your case.