Government: Phone makers should lock out most drivers' apps

- Texting and driving has been causing more and more crashes, so a federal agency is asking device developers to design products that reduce the potential for distraction.

Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced proposed, voluntary guidelines to address driver distraction caused by mobile and other electronic devices in vehicles.

It wants smartphone makers to lock out most apps when the phone is being used by someone driving a car, and automakers to make infotainment systems easy to pair with smartphones.

Traffic deaths spiked 10.4 percent in the first six months of this year. That followed a 7.2 percent increase in 2015. The agency says 10 percent of deadly crashes last year involved distracted drivers.

Drivers could still make calls, but the phones and automaker systems would lock out the ability to enter text.

Internet browsing, video not related to driving, text from books, and photos also would be locked out.

Navigation systems would be permitted.

The NHTSA is asking for public comments after reading more here.

This is the second phase of voluntary guidelines to address driver distraction on U.S. roads. The first phase, announced more than three years ago, focused on devices or systems built into the vehicle at the time of manufacture.

The NHTSA also suggests these safety precautions:

--Be a safe, distraction-free driver by putting your cell phone down and focusing on the road;

--Set the destination before using electronic devices for directions;

--Speak up when you're a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to call or text for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task; and

--Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against other unsafe drivers.

App Store Get it on Google Play

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories