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NHTSA Distracted-Driving Guidelines for Portable Electronics


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This 96-page proposal describes voluntary guidelines intended to reduce driver distraction when using portable electronic devices such as smartphones.

Issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in November 2016, the recommendations follow earlier guidelines about reducing the distraction of infotainment features built into passenger vehicles by the manufacturer.

The new proposals acknowledge that many people will continue to use portable devices in an unsafe manner while driving. It suggests two primary approaches to reducing the distraction caused by such behavior. One approach would automatically link personal electronics to the vehicle's infotainment system, which can then block such secondary features as displaying scrolling text or playing videos not related to driving.

The second recommendation would switch personal devices to a "driver mode" that blocks secondary features and provides access to primary functions through a simple, at-a-glance interface.

This proposal also describes several studies about driver distraction, outlines the risks associated with using devices while driving and details current initiatives to curb distracted driving.