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Proposed guidelines on distracted driving met with opposition

Being injured in a car accident in Georgia caused by a distracted driver can be devastating. Based on the statistics, this problem is becoming all too common. According to Distraction.gov, distracted driving contributes to roughly 431,000 accident injuries annually and more than 3,100 fatalities.

In an effort to combat this epidemic, new federal guidelines have been proposed that would encourage the makers of smartphones to block some features from being accessed while users are driving. The proposal is currently open for comments by the public. So far, the guidelines have been met with mixed reactions. Some safety experts support the plan, but others wonder if it goes far enough. The National Transportation Safety Board, for example, supports a total ban on cellphone use for drivers.

Some groups that represent auto manufacturers also expressed support, as they would prefer drivers to use the built-in technology with which many cars now come equipped. However, some makers of phones are opposed to the guidelines. They cite the fact that the Department of Transportation has no legal standing to prescribe how phones and apps are designed, as well as the fact that the responsibility for accident avoidance ultimately falls on the driver.

Some of the features proposed for blocking include manual typing of text messages and the ability to display videos. It is important to note that when the guidelines are finalized, adherence would be voluntary.

Injuries sustained from a distracted driving accident can take a heavy toll on victims on their families. People who have been injured may wish to consult with an experienced attorney.

Source: Bloomberg, “Phonemakers Asked to Alter Devices to Cut Driver Distraction,” Todd Shields and Alan Levin, Nov. 23, 2016

 

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