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Feds Ask For Social Network Ban while Driving

Posted on February 28, 2012

If it is up to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) you won’t be tweeting, retweeting, or playing Farmville on Facebook while you’re in your car — at least not when it’s in motion. In a move designed to limit what the USDOT sees as the growing problem of distracted driving in Florida and throughout the nation, it has released non-binding guidelines that call for automakers to design certain in-car devices that would only work when the car is in park. The USDOT is targeting devices that allow manual texting, access to the Internet, 10-digit phone dialing, and the like.

“DOT is on the right path,” Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association wrote to Bloomberg.com in an email.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), in 2010, 3,092 people lost their lives because of distracted driving. And those numbers could easily increase. One automotive data provider is predicting that the number of smartphone and embedded-connectivity devices installed into new cars and light trucks will increase by 29 percent this year – and they will be fitted into all new cars by the year 2026.

Electronic warning devices like lane-departure and collision alert systems would not be affected by the guidelines. David Strickland, head of the NHTSA, said the idea isn’t to ban in-car communication systems entirely, just to simplify them and to reduce their use while driving.

The law firm of Farah & Farah is all for making Florida’s roads and highways safe from distracted drivers. If you have been injured in an accident because of a distracted driver, our Florida car accident lawyers are ready to take your call at (800) 533-3555. The call is free and confidential.

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