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Smartphone Makers Asked to Add Safe Driving Measures to Phones

Maura

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man using three iPhones while driving.JPG

AppleInsider reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has today issued a set of voluntary guidelines to smartphone makers in the hope that the likes of Apple and Samsung will add a driver mode to their phone software, in the interests of safety.

In the original report in The New York Times, the Secretary of Transportation said that “distraction is still a problem. Too many people are dying and being injured on our roadways.”

The NHTSA guidelines ask smartphone manufacturers to not just add some means of restricting drivers from using their phones or certain apps when in the car, but also to develop technology that detects when a phone is being used by the driver when someone is driving.

This marks the first set of guidelines issued by NHTSA regarding portable devices, although it has previously issued guidelines about the use of in-car entertainment and navigation systems.

Clearly, something needs to be done in order to deter people from using their phones when driving. Even legislation does not always help. For example, while it is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving in the UK, people are often seen to be ignoring the law, including a driver who, according to the London Evening Standard, has just been filmed by a cyclist driving in a very busy part of South London while using three phones simultaneously.

Sources: US regulators ask smartphone makers to implement function-limited 'driver mode'

Driver 'using THREE mobile phones behind the wheel' near Elephant and Castle
 

Pinkpoison

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That would be a great move.
We once saw someone using a tablet while driving and I've lost count of how many I've seen using a phone, In fact it's every single time I'm out.
They're absolutely blatant.
 

KevinJS

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Couple of things spring to mind.

How are phone manufacturers supposed to differentiate between a driver and a passenger?

Are any lawmakers prepared to concede that GPS and routing software are a major contribution to road safety and allow their use in a moving vehicle?

Since we are all very well aware as to how laws are enacted i.e. at the most draconian level, it's easy to see where this will go. The accelerometers built into phones will shut them down once they are exceeding walking pace, regardless of who is using them or what they are being used for. Meanwhile the Pokémon players will continue to wander out into traffic.

I've reported dangerous occurrences to the police and other authorities while driving, and followed an impaired driving while describing my whereabouts to the police dispatcher who was controlling 5 vehicles as they converged on my target. Without the information I was able to provide, the impaired driver would have escaped (yet again).
 

brixtonboy

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I know we are only 2 posts into this, but where are we going with it? Obviously the guy in the video was over the top.
If my handy rings whilst l'm driving l can answer through BT is that OK? I would never dream of taking of my eyes of the road. I do use Google maps for directions so it tells me turn left or right in 500 yards etc. So l contradict myself a bit here. Sorry. Who has not?
 

scifan57

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I know we are only 2 posts into this, but where are we going with it? Obviously the guy in the video was over the top.
If my handy rings whilst l'm driving l can answer through BT is that OK? I would never dream of taking of my eyes of the road. I do use Google maps for directions so it tells me turn left or right in 500 yards etc. So l contradict myself a bit here. Sorry. Who has not?
Actually, using a hands free device to talk on the phone while driving is just as dangerous as using a hand held phone.
 

scifan57

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Couple of things spring to mind.

How are phone manufacturers supposed to differentiate between a driver and a passenger?

Are any lawmakers prepared to concede that GPS and routing software are a major contribution to road safety and allow their use in a moving vehicle?

Since we are all very well aware as to how laws are enacted i.e. at the most draconian level, it's easy to see where this will go. The accelerometers built into phones will shut them down once they are exceeding walking pace, regardless of who is using them or what they are being used for. Meanwhile the Pokémon players will continue to wander out into traffic.

I've reported dangerous occurrences to the police and other authorities while driving, and followed an impaired driving while describing my whereabouts to the police dispatcher who was controlling 5 vehicles as they converged on my target. Without the information I was able to provide, the impaired driver would have escaped (yet again).
This seems to be yet another doomed attempt to try to legislate safety behind the wheel by starting with voluntary guidelines. I wouldn't be surprised if California were to pass legislation making these guidelines mandatory. No amount of legislation is going to turn a bad driver into a good driver. I agree with Kevin in that this plan would never work as intended because there is no way for the proposed system from distinguishing between drivers and passengers in a vehicle.
 

brixtonboy

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How about adjusting the radio volume is that next thing on the list or opening the windows. It can get out of hand.
 

KevinJS

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How about adjusting the radio volume is that next thing on the list or opening the windows. It can get out of hand.

Most Canadian provinces have legislation nowadays banning hands free devices by the driver. Alberta had to go one step further with "distracted driving" laws. Initially, distracted driving was pretty well confined to cell phone use, and carried a fine. Now the fine has been increased to $267 with 3 penalty points on your licence, and there is talk of making it a criminal offence. But the scope has also broadened. Distracted driving can now mean anything a cop wants it to, and it's up to the person with the ticket to try and fight it in court. The police also have equipment which is able to spot a "distracted driver" at distances of up to 1.2 kilometres.

I read a while back that an American jurisdiction (forget which one) was considering a similar get-tough approach, so I suspect things will only get worse (or better, depending on your point of view).
 

brixtonboy

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So hands on the wheel and eyes on the road at all times or risk some kind of fine. That's a bit over the top don't you think? Even l rest one of hands from the wheel, you to l'm sure.
 

KevinJS

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So hands on the wheel and eyes on the road at all times or risk some kind of fine. That's a bit over the top don't you think? Even l rest one of hands from the wheel, you to l'm sure.

I think it's over the top, but then some people think my "total abstinence from drugs and alcohol before driving" is also over the top. I rarely have two hands on the wheel. The gear shifter seems like a more natural home for the other one.
 

933

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Phones don't kill people, people kill people! I see so many drivers that are on their phones on the highway none the less everyday that it's about commonplace!! Sad but true! Put the phone down and drive, don't be another statistic. So many accidents I see also that are most likely 99.9% from using a phone while driving. If people would use a good set of Bluetooth headphones or even a simple Bluetooth, it might help with the accidents. But I guess you can't watch that YouTube video and FaceTime. These days my phone stays on the dash until I stop. Too many close calls in the past. I've learned my lesson. Keep it in between the lines!!
 

KevinJS

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Phones don't kill people, people kill people! I see so many drivers that are on their phones on the highway none the less everyday that it's about commonplace!! Sad but true! Put the phone down and drive, don't be another statistic. So many accidents I see also that are most likely 99.9% from using a phone while driving. If people would use a good set of Bluetooth headphones or even a simple Bluetooth, it might help with the accidents. But I guess you can't watch that YouTube video and FaceTime. These days my phone stays on the dash until I stop. Too many close calls in the past. I've learned my lesson. Keep it in between the lines!!

As @scifan57 noted earlier in this thread, hands free use of phones is as unsafe as having a phone clamped to one's ear while driving. The distraction caused by the conversation itself it apparently the danger.

Now, I have no idea why a telephone conversation could be more dangerous than the same conversation with a passenger in the vehicle. I drive a 50 tonne semi, and recently took our safety officer out on a drive of about 800 km. We were in conversation most of the day. I didn't feel that our conversation was making my driving less safe than it would have been had we maintained silence, and he never commented on it as a safety concern.

Having said that, I do tend to ask for silence when I feel that I need to concentrate.
 

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Possibly the reason that having a conversation with someone in the vehicle is not as dangerous as talking to someone on the phone may be that the passenger could see any danger outside the vehicle and be quiet when necessary.
 

KevinJS

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Possibly the reason that having a conversation with someone in the vehicle is not as dangerous as talking to someone on the phone may be that the passenger could see any danger outside the vehicle and be quiet when necessary.

Yes, that's true. I usually slow down when the passengers are too terrified to scream any more.
 

DDickie

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As @scifan57 noted earlier in this thread, hands free use of phones is as unsafe as having a phone clamped to one's ear while driving. The distraction caused by the conversation itself it apparently the danger.

Now, I have no idea why a telephone conversation could be more dangerous than the same conversation with a passenger in the vehicle. I drive a 50 tonne semi, and recently took our safety officer out on a drive of about 800 km. We were in conversation most of the day. I didn't feel that our conversation was making my driving less safe than it would have been had we maintained silence, and he never commented on it as a safety concern.

Having said that, I do tend to ask for silence when I feel that I need to concentrate.

So I couldn't imagine what the Safety Police would think of CB radio now!?
 
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