Apparently tweeting the fact that you are updating your
) status while checking your location on satellite image GPS all
at the same time isn't such a good idea. At least not while
driving down the freeway at 70 mph.
So said the Transportation Department in non-binding
guidelines issued Tuesday, according to
In a 281-page document that some might say falls under
"overstating the obvious," regulators urged automakers to design
in-vehicle infotainment centers that limit distractions from
Internet browsing and the use of Twitter and Facebook along with
other devices including 3D and satellite image GPS systems.
The guidelines also ask automakers to design navigation and
other screen-based systems so that drivers do not need to take
their eyes off the road for more than two seconds to select an
option, or 12 seconds to complete an entire task such as entering
On a conference call with reporters, Transportation Secretary
Ray LaHood said, "We've already made good progress in getting
cellphones out of peoples' hands when they're behind the wheel,"
adding, "Cellphones aren't the only distractions."
A study, funded by NHTSA and released Tuesday, determined that
sending hands-free text messages using Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:
)'s Siri and the Vlingo system on Google Inc. (NASDAQ:
)'s Android phones distracted drivers just as much as messages
typed in by hand.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, including General
), Toyota Motor (NYSE:
), and others, complained that NHTSA draft guidelines issued last
year were too restrictive and that by limiting use of in-car
technology, the agency would encourage drivers to revert to more
dangerous handheld devices.
The Alliance points out that NHTSA's own data indicate that 98
percent of distraction-related accidents are due to factors other
than use of a built-in system.
As if to answer that allegation,
reported Tuesday that NHTSA said it plans to release two more
studies over the next two years in which it will address mobile
phones and other portable devices, along with a study on
"Until such time as the Phase 2 Guidelines are issued, the
agency recommends that developers and manufacturers of portable
and aftermarket devices consider these principles as they design
and update their products," the guidelines state. "NHTSA further
encourages these developers and manufacturers to adopt any
recommendations in the Phase 1 Guidelines that they believe are
feasible and appropriate for their devices."
At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in
any of the mentioned securities.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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